US Equestrian Trade E-News


3rd April, 2019.

The famous European equestrian show will take place in Kentucky.

The Kentucky Horse Park will host the first Equitana USA to be run by Reed Exhibitions in Fall 2020.

The launch of a three day shopping and educational equestrian show at the Lexington venue was announced in Essen, Germany last month during Equitana Germany.

The biennial European event is said to attract more than 200,000 visitors and 750 exhibitors over nine days. A spin-off show, Equitana Australia, was established in 1999.

Equitana exhibitions are open to the public, professionals and trade.

“We are excited to be the home of Equitana USA,” said Laura Prewitt, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park. “I’m confident the community will embrace the opportunity to welcome guests from around the world.”

Reed Exhibitions claims to be the world's leading events organizer, with more than 500 events in over 30 countries.



3rd April, 2019.

Safety standards and sales tips are among the topics covered.

Charles Owen and Airowear have launched an online training program available only to retailers.

The three courses are free to take. One covers overall safety, another is all about helmets, and the third covers body protectors.

By taking the training, stockists can also learn more about safety standards and certification, helmet and body protector materials and pick up tips on how to start and finish a sale.

Aimed at retailers around the world, the training uses videos, interactive pages and quizzes to explain how to fit and sell safety gear.

“We look forward to giving all of our retailers a resource with which they can connect to our mission of creating a safer world,” said Charles Owen chairman Roy Burek.



3rd April, 2019.

Top brands explore practical gift and lifestyle ideas.

Accessories are the ‘big thing’ this season, it seems. They certainly make for useful add-on sales opportunities for stockists. And when the brand name is a familiar, respected one, so much the better.

Famous British saddlery brand Albion has just launched a new handbags collection. And now apparel expert Noel Asmar is to debut an accessories line.

Noel Asmar’s limited-edition collection in Italian leather (as used by Prada) includes backpacks, sleek belt purses and reversible belts. They’re inspired by runway trends, but made to work for equestrians.

The Saffiano Belt Purse is the horse-person’s answer to the hands-free trend for cross body bags. Designed to fit wide and narrow belts and accommodate larger cellphones, a secure zippered section protects cards and cash.



3rd April, 2019.

The international initiative which returns this month.

The British Equestrian Trade Association’s BETA Safety Week is back for 2019 with US equestrian retailers invited to give it their backing.

The international campaign (27 April to 5 May) will highlight the importance of safety gear and equipment that is correctly fitted, fastened and up to standard.

Retailers will play a key role in promoting the message in-store, online, at events and through their social media platforms. They will be joined by some of the world’s leading safety garment manufacturers, including Champion, Charles Owen, Gatehouse, Racesafe, USG, Uvex and Weatherbeeta.

Retailers who sign up to the initiative will receive a social media kit, digital banners and branded in-store graphics to highlight their participation. They will also be included in member listings on the British Equestrian Trade Association’s website,

Many equestrian organisations, including the Pony Club, the UK sporting disciplines and the Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund have already lent their support.

“We are thrilled that BETA Safety Week is back for a second year, following hot on the heels of its success in 2018,” said the trade association’s executive director, Claire Williams. “The campaign has really hit the spot throughout the UK, mainland Europe and the US as we fly the flag for rider safety.

“We are also pleased to hear that the campaign will enjoy a high-profile presence at this month’s Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, thanks to safety garment brands Airowear, Champion, Charles Owen and Dublin.”

Retailers who would like to sign up to support the event should contact Tina Hustler in the BETA office, telephone +44 (0)1937 587062 or email



7th March, 2019.

The best of British saddlery left Walsall for an evening ceremony in London.

Youth and experience were rewarded at this year’s Society of Master Saddlers’ (SMS) National Saddlery Competition at Saddlers’ Hall in London.

“The national competition is always a highlight in the calendar for so many, a chance to showcase fabulous work, socialise and catch up. 2019 is a bumper year of entries and exhibits,” said SMS president Chris Taylor.

“The event is very much a celebration of our craft and in the Hall tonight are many truly talented people. It is that drive and passion that keeps British saddlery at its best,” he told the audience of leading saddlery industry figures.

Supporters of the awards ceremony included The Worshipful Company of Saddlers, Abbey England, H Webber and Osborne Tools, Cribbs Carriage Masters, Tandy Leather, The Worshipful Company of Coach and Coach Harness Makers and Musto.

Among the winners was Colin Potts of Vale Brothers who claimed Best in Show with his entry in the Open Dressage Saddle Class.

Frank Baines Saddlery took the award for the most commercially viable and attractive saddle.

Nicola Watson’s was judged to be the best side saddle.

The awards also acknowledged the hard work and progression of saddlery students and apprentices.



7th March, 2019.

BETA International’s new sales manager has an impressive track record in the trade and in the saddle.

Darren Mottershead, the new sales manager for BETA International, was an area sales manager for leading supplements and equine care products manufacturer NAF for more than eight years.

He joined the organising team at BETA International just in time for this year’s show in January. The UK based annual equestrian trade fair was celebrating its 40th consecutive running.

“I thoroughly enjoyed working for NAF,” said Darren. “It’s given me a really good insight into the industry, how and why new products come to market, building relationships - and I got to talk ‘horse’ every day too.”

Early roles saw Darren working in Bramham Horse Trials’ box office and for a furniture manufacturer. He then spent a decade in the fuel business selling oil and petrol to domestic, agricultural and filling station customers. “That taught me about business, running a team of staff, supply chains, margins and customer relations. I was involved with credit management and debt collection too.”

Now, as sales manager for BETA International, Darren is determined to stay in touch with equestrian retailers. “Yes, of course I’ll be going to manufacturers and wholesalers, but the show’s got to remain right for retailers too. After all, BETA International is for them – they’re doing their buying there, I need to ensure they continue to be happy and are seeing the right selection of products for their businesses.”

Sales is about getting out to meet and talk to people, adds Darren. “You can achieve so much more face-to-face than over the phone - the same can be said for BETA International.”

Spreading the word about The BETA Group is on Darren’s agenda too. “We have BETA International and within that there’s the new product gallery, innovation awards… so many opportunities. Then there’s Equestrian Trade News (ETN) and the trade association. I want to tell people how they can benefit from the entire offering.”

A life with horses

A lifelong horseman, Darren loves his eventing and has a run at Chatsworth International Horse Trials in his sights this season.

From a non-horsey Yorkshire family, the young Darren rode friends’ ponies before graduating to working weekends in a hunting and eventing yard. He bought his first competition horse when he was 18.

Since then, Darren has evented, and taken part in dressage and show jumping too. He’s also shown horses in-hand and in ridden classes at the likes of Bramham International.

Although he’s modest about it, Darren’s current event horse – a 13 year old mare called Westswoods Scarlet Lady – was a ‘bit of a character’ that a few riders, including some professionals, had ridden and failed to connect with.

“When Scarlet came to me as ten year old, she was a bit of a misfit and very grouchy. But after a few weeks, something clicked. Now she’s my little horse of a lifetime.”

• BETA International 2020 is on 19 – 21 January at the NEC Birmingham, UK. Contact Darren Motteshead on or tel +44 1937 582111.



7th March, 2019.

ETN takes the long view of emerging trends for this season and beyond.

Young customers are the future of our industry, so it’s vital to keep them engaged. Flamingos and unicorns are this year’s must-have images; Battles’ HY collection has themed rugs, halters and children’s clothing.

Turmeric in many forms. There’s a growing selection of supplements for horses, dogs and humans; while the brilliant orange ingredient has inspired a vibrant flash of colour across this season’s Fall horse and rider clothing collections. Check out British brand Equetech.

Advancing technology is enabling battery-powered, heated clothing to become a realistic and practical proposition for horse people on the go and in the cold. UK manufacturer Blaze Wear has jackets, gilets, base layers and accessories that heat up at the touch of a button.

Saddle fitting is centre stage. From Bliss of London, the Adjusta Pad is an essential tool for dealing with asymmetry and balance. Meanwhile the Medilogic system from Germany gives dynamic measurements of the horse’s back in real time. It also documents interaction between horse, saddle and rider during all gaits and keeps digital records of horses’ changing shapes.

Rider safety moves apace as British helmet manufacturers Charles Owen and Champion introduce MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) technology. Designed to mimic the scalp’s action, MIPS adds protection to helmets already tested and certified to reduce injury.

Back with saddles, Evolution Horse believe it’s time to make saddle pads as technical as the saddles they’re designed for. The British company’s 3Spine System uses carbon fiber components to lift the pad up into the saddle’s gullet to reduce heat, friction and pressure build-up. Adjustable d-ring fasteners and Velcro lock the system into place to create one saddle-and-pad unit.

Ever tried to move a rubber stable mat single-handed? Fieldguard’s Gripper mat moving tool is an essential aid to shifting heavy mats and boosting stable hygiene.

Several manufacturers are offering equestrian retailers more opportunities to diversify into the lucrative pet market. After all, horse people usually love dogs too. Fans of TopSpec Equine’s supplements and blends are also putting their trust in the new VetSpec premium dog food range from the same stable. Weatherbeeta is keeping both species warm and dry with matching horse and dog blankets, along with other canine accessories. And one that’s done it in reverse – from the pet market into equine – is Henry Wag whose microfibre Equine Glove Towel with absorbent noodles is modelled on its popular and proven dog drying products.

Reducing equine obesity is hot news across the UK and Europe. From The Netherlands, Holland Animal Care’s Hay Slow Feeder dispenses hay at a steady rate. For owners, the ball-shaped container is easy to fill, lift, hang and clean – an attractive alternative to traditional haynets. And for greedy grazers, The Ultimate Muzzle has with a leather headstrap for safety and no clips to get caught on fences. High at the front to prevent removal by rubbing, there’s a comfortable rubber chin guard, plus a rectangular mouthpiece to allow just a little nibbling.

Leading bridle-makers are sympathetically designing around the horse’s facial nerves. German company Schockemöhle Sports has enhanced its Equitus anatomic bridles range with a pick-and-mix concept enabling customized bridles to be created from single parts. European wholesaler Waldhausen has upped the bridlewear fashion stakes with coloured leather parts and rhinestones to match its rider fashion themes.

And finally, who said old ideas can’t be reinvented? The neckstrap – otherwise known as the rider’s savior (and less polite names) – has been given a make-over by Vale Bros under its Jeffries brand. The discreet Jeffries Premium Neck/Balance Strap is made in the finest, softest calf leather so the rider can easily hold it alongside the reins. It’s fitted with a single adjustable strap attached to the nearside saddle D-ring via a trigger clip, keeping it within easy reach, and to prevent it slipping up the horse’s neck should he put his head down.

• Discover more new products every month in ETN. Subscriptions to the magazine in print or digital format are available by clicking here



6th February, 2019.

BETA International celebrated its 40th year by living up to its global reputation as the unmissable three-day buying and business event for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products.

From 20 to 22 January, the show threw open its doors at the NEC, Birmingham, to exhibitors and visitors from across the UK and overseas.

This world-class industry event featured some of the finest products and services on the market – many unveiled for the very first time. Everyone from buyers at small independent stores to purchasing teams at multinational retail chains visited the show over the three days, taking their place among friends and colleagues for this annual trade gathering with golden networking opportunities.

ITV newscaster Alastair Stewart was back in the halls as the popular host of Talking Business, BETA International's gritty industry debate, at The Charles Owen Spotlight – a contemporary, new entertainment and education theatre – on Sunday.

This year's panellists were Trilanco managing director Martin Balmer, Horseware Ireland CEO Tom MacGuinness, retailer Kevin Galbraith, director of Ayr Equestrian, Lisa Lemieux, director of Horse Health and the LeMieux brand, Philip Tyler, executive chair of the TopSpec Group, and Doug Walker, president of the Weatherbeeta Group.

Inevitably, the uncertainty surrounding the possible effects of Brexit was top of the bill, while the changing role of wholesalers and distributors – some now supplying their own brands – was also debated.

The Charles Owen Spotlight remained busy throughout the show, with a full programme of seminars, celebrity interviews – and the Fashion Show – taking place every day.

Each session was industry-specific, covering subjects such as employment law, equestrian safety, saddle fitting, social media advertising and bitting. Christine Paine, head of inspections and investigations at the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, led the SQP seminar Prescribing for Horses and Inspections Update – What an SQP Needs to Know, worth eight CPD points, Claire Williams's Safety Update seminar provided five CPD points for BETA-trained City & Guilds safety garment fitters and Kate Hore, of NAF, hosted the seminar Nutritional Support of a Calm Outlook, worth four CPD points.

Visitors were thrilled to meet and listen to the show's three “Golden Girl” guests – Olympic track cyclist-turned-jockey Victoria Pendleton, Paralympic dressage rider Sophie Christiansen and 2018 World Equestrian Games eventing champion Ros Canter – who have all won gold medals in their sports careers.

Victoria recalled her transition to horse racing in the 2016 Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham and revealed how horses have played an important part in her recovery since she had to abandon her attempt to reach the summit of Everest for a TV programme and suffered from depression.

Paralympic multiple-gold medallist Sophie Christiansen was back by popular demand after inspiring audiences at last year's trade fair. In an interview with show commentator Philip Ghazala, she talked about her new horse, Harry, and their hopes for Tokyo 2020.

Ros, who shortly before her BETA International appearance announced that she is expecting a baby in July, recalled her World Equestrian Games experience on Allstar B, taking both team and individual gold medals. After 10 years of competing, she said: “I still have to pinch myself that it has actually happened.”

Fashion continued its reign at BETA International, with the Fashion Show flagging up some of the sassiest rider and country collections to date. With new organiser and choreographer Victoria Thomas, of Red Ice Productions, in charge, things definitely shifted up a gear, with a decidedly high-octane performance on the runway. A professional dancer and actor, Victoria brought an exciting, fresh vibe to the daily shows with new models, edgy dance routines and a music score that stays in your head for weeks.

Buyers took their seats to see scenes from Montar, Bucas and Covalliero, Horseware Products, Toggi, Champion, Percussion Clothing, Horse Health Trade and Charles Owen/Airowear.

Retailers were also given a glimpse into the digital age of robots and hi-tech shopping at Vision of the Future – an area complete with a Sanbot Elf robot and revolutionary app designed by Jisp to enhance the customer experience. To enable visitors to appreciate its many benefits, the app could be downloaded beforehand and used to access product and general information from around the halls – including garment details at the Fashion Show.

Competition was a key theme at the show, with this year's Innovation Awards keenly contested by companies determined to secure one of the highly prized trophies for their latest product. Sponsored once again by Equestrian Trade News, the show's media partner, the awards continued to attract a large number of entries for each of the eight categories.

A specially selected panel of judges, each chosen for their expert knowledge and experience, rose to the challenge of selecting the winning products. This year, they were British Eventing team vet Liz Brown, master saddler and saddle-fitter Kay Hastilow, Steve Hodgson, co-owner of retail store Nags Essentials, Kathryn Jaquet, managing director of retail business RB Equestrian, independent equine nutritionist Catherine Rudenko and international event rider James Sommerville.

Winners were presented with their awards by ETN editor Liz Benwell and senior advertising executive Beth Crow. They were: Sioen UK with the Baleno Pembroke jacket (Country Clothing & Footwear); NAF with Five Star Magic (Feed & Supplements); Stride Innovations with the Steady wrist band (General); Equilibrium Products with its therapy hind and hock magnetic chaps (Horsecare Equipment & [Horse] Clothing); Product Global with the Mud Daddy portable washing brush (Pet Products); Mountain Horse with the Illusion reflective jacket (Rider Clothing & Footwear); Bliss of London with the Sportiva Dressage FLX saddle (Saddlery & Tack); and Charles Owen/Airowear with the MS1 Pro jockey skull (Safety & Security). See our separate news release for full details.

BETA International enjoys an enviable reputation for its high-quality exhibition stands. The work of companies going that extra mile to create an attractive and effective retail environment is celebrated by the show's Best Stand Awards. All exhibitors are automatically entered into the competition, which was independently judged by Amanda Chadwick, of Croner, and Kim Pengelly, of Hope Pastures, the show's chosen charity for 2019. After touring the halls, they selected Toggi as winner of the Best Large Stand Award (32 sq m and over) and Harcour for the Best Small Stand Award (under 32 sq m).

The Society of Master Saddlers showcased the high standard of saddlery apprentices and students. Sunday's challenge saw those from the Saddlery Training Centre make a high-ring grackle noseband, with the challenge won by Rebecca Simmons, of Pegaso Saddlery & Leatherwork, Buckinghamshire. On Monday, second-year Capel Manor College student Zoë Hurst won with her plain cavesson noseband. Tuesday's competition, to make a bridle headpiece, was won by first-year Capel Manor College student Michelle Bogaerdt.

Winners of the show's awards were announced and presented with their prizes during a special ceremony at The Charles Owen Spotlight on Sunday evening, when visitors and exhibitors gathered to congratulate them. Main sponsor Neue Schule also presented graduates of its inaugural Bit & Bridle Fitting Course with their certificates.

This was followed by free After-Show Drinks, where industry colleagues and friends gathered to celebrate BETA International's 40th year with the trade fair's organising team over glasses of bubbly and delicious canapés. This ruby landmark was also officially recognised with a large photo wall charting the journey from the show's humble beginnings as a travelling trade fair to its present format as a large, international, annual event.

On Monday, BETA International organiser Claire Thomas, former trade association secretary Penny Marriner, BETA executive director Claire Williams, chair Ian Silman and BETA president Jane Holderness Roddam, Trade Fair Committee Chair Philip Tyler and Sonya Cox of the NEC cut the show's 40th anniversary cake, to much applause from members of the trade – many of whom could recall the early days of BETA International themselves.

Claire Thomas said: “BETA International 2019 was a truly memorable 40th-anniversary show. Our exhibitors were extremely happy with the quality of buyers visiting their stands, while visitors themselves have been singing BETA International's praises. Our combination of great new products, tried and trusted brands, quirky new companies, world-class seminars and celebrity interviews appears to have really hit the spot. People were serious about doing business and they came to do just that.

“We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who supported the show and to our sponsors and suppliers – Neue Schule, Charles Owen, Equestrian Trade News, Henson Franklyn, Hy, Jisp, NAF, The Original Muck Boot Company, Shires Equestrian Products, Stubbs England, Toggi and VetSpec– who really make this all possible.”

BETA International 2020 will take place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 19 to 21 January. For information about exhibiting at the trade fair, contact Darren Mottershead, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email



6th February, 2019.

In the same year that Star Wars: Episode 1 was released, this leading equestrian company arrived in the US.

It’s two decades since the Weatherbeeta Group became established in the US.

The year was 1999 and the Pan American Games were held in Winnipeg, Canada. As Weatherbeeta North American was being formed, Team USA won gold in dressage, eventing and show jumping – and achieved a clean sweep of individual medals.

At the movies, 1999 marked the release of iconic films Tarzan, The Green Mile, The Sixth Sense and Star Wars: Episode I.

“Although we do not have the same historical impact on global culture, we are proud of the contribution Weatherbeeta North America has made to the equestrian industry,” said Lynne Westwood of the Weatherbeeta Group.

“The industry and our business have seen an enormous number of changes in that time. Nevertheless, we believe that much of what we do remains based on the values established at the time Weatherbeeta North America was formed.”

Lynne explains those values:

- Service. We are striving to be the number one wholesaler to the equestrian trade and we continue to develop industry leading support we provide for our retail customers backed up by the strength of a strong global business. This proposition is much more varied and sophisticated than it was back in 1999 but the essence remains the same.
- Brands. We will be celebrating two of our main brands’ 40th birthdays in 2020 and throughout our history in the US, we have remained focused on building world leading brands that deliver excellent quality, good design at fair prices. We are proud to help support several partner brands throughout our 20 years. Our commitment to growing our customers’ businesses with our brands is, if anything, even bigger today than it was back at our founding.
- People. We aim to be the best place to work in the equestrian industry and are humbled by the loyalty so many in our team have shown. We remain a family owned private business, with values that are rarely found in the modern business world.

The Weatherbeeta Group’s Doug Walker thanked the US trade for its support over the first 20 years.

“We are looking forward to the next 20 years with enormous confidence,” he said. “We are encouraged by the successes of recent years and excited by the fast pace of new products, the stunning new campaigns on Dublin and other brands in our portfolio and excited by the challenges of technological change.’

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our trade partners who have joined us in this remarkable journey. We thank you for you for your business, of course. but your friendship as well.’’



6th February, 2019.

New launches include boots especially for farriers.

Grub’s featured strongly when the footwear brand’s US distributor Veterinary Services Incorporated (VSI) held its annual dealer market show on 4 – 6 February at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego.

VSI unveiled the Grub’s Prestige Leather range, the stylish quilted Skyline Boot and new men’s leather work boots - Cyclone, Whirlwind and Fury.

All three of the men’s boots have a dealer style design. They also incorporate features ideal for the agricultural, construction and equine industries - especially for farriers.

Grub’s also highlighted its new offerings at last month’s BETA International in Birmingham, UK.

And later this year, the brand will be exhibiting at WESA in Denver, Colarado, on 19 – 21 June.



6th February, 2019.

The arrival of this year's array of dazzling new products was celebrated in the Innovation Awards – leading B2B accolades – during BETA International 2019, at the NEC, Birmingham, on Sunday 20 January.

Sponsored by the show's media partner and leading industry title Equestrian Trade News magazine, the awards are designed to reward creativity, craftsmanship, technology and inspirational invention. Every exhibitor is invited to enter products in the competition, provided that they have not been introduced to the market during the 12 months preceding the show.

All products entered into the awards' eight categories are considered by a panel of independent judges – each carefully chosen for their skills and expertise in a specific field. This year, those with the challenging task of selecting the winners were British Eventing team vet Liz Brown, master saddler and saddle-fitting expert Kay Hastilow, Steve Hodgson, owner of retail store Nags Essentials, Kathryn Jaquet, managing director of retail business RB Equestrian, independent equine nutritionist Catherine Rudenko and international event rider James Sommerville.

“We have been bowled over by the quality of new products being launched at BETA International,” said show organiser Claire Thomas. “It’s extremely exciting to see the industry working so hard to generate all these fantastic new things, with a great deal of enthusiasm, time and money being invested in them. We were thrilled to see the winners collect their trophies and our congratulations go to all those who played a part in their success.”

The winners of the 2019 Innovation Awards are...

Company: Sioen UK (Baleno)
Product: Baleno Pembroke jacket
This jacket with soft, printed fabric in a traditional tweed style is light, stretchy, waterproof and breathable.

Judges’ comments: “We loved the magnetic pockets and tailored cuffs, and the waterproof tweed is eye-catching.”

Highly commended
Company: Aigle International UK
Product: Mujal vest
This quilted vest is designed in a lightweight and water-repellent fabric.

Judges’ comments: “We really liked the traditional look and comfort of this vest.”

Highly commended
Company: Grubs Boots
Product: Cyclone boot
The new boot from Grubs features an Australian, V-cut, three-piece, full-grain Iberian leather upper and oil and acid-resistant sole.

Judges’ comments: “We were particularly impressed with the boot’s sleek lines, combined with hard-wearing sole.”


Company: NAF
Product: Five Star Magic
Five Star Magic, which has helped owners, riders and horses to retain calmness, confidence and concentration, now has a new formula tested in trials.

Judges’ comments: “This is a well-researched and presented product, clearly labelled and with instructions that are easy to understand. We were impressed with the depth of research and development that has gone into the new formula.”


Company: Stride Innovations
Product: Steady wrist band
This training aid helps riders to maintain a low hand position, which can be set from a mobile phone, with high, medium or low sensitivity

Judges’ comments: “Here is a genuine innovation suitable for riders of all levels and abilities, providing a benefit to performance.”

Highly commended
Company: Crafty Ponies
Product: Stableyard set
All the tack and equipment looks and works realistically in this stableyard set, which comes with illustrated booklets to help children learn.

Judges’ comments: “The many accessories, all with educational information, make this an interactive product with a craft element.”


Company: Equilibrium Products
Product: Therapy hind and hock magnetic chaps
These chaps, designed to be worn in the stable to support hock health, fit the contours of the horse’s hind legs closely to ensure comfort without restrictions, over-tightening or slipping.

Judges’ comments: “Cleverly designed and of excellent quality, the Vitaflex magnetic chaps fit beautifully to address the long-time issue of slippage and are commercially viable at a good retail price.”

Highly commended
Company: Comco
Product: Silver bandage pads
The fabric of these bandage pads contains silver ions with antibacterial and antistatic properties for maximum hygiene and comfort.

Judges’ comments: “The silver technology makes these pads good for skin conditions and injuries.”

Highly commended
Company: Horseware Products
Product: Amigo Bravo 12 Reflectech Plus Med rug
This rug, with interwoven reflective yarn in the body and hood, increases a horse’s visibility in low light and night-time conditions.

Judges’ comments: “The innovative fabric is impressive and the product quality fantastic, with a good profit margin in a high-end market.”


Company: Product Global (Mud Daddy)
Product: Mud Daddy portable washing brush
This 5-litre brush with built-in sprayer combines water and air pressure, with no need for mains electric or a battery.

Judges’ comments: “An innovative and versatile product with multiple uses, the brush can be taken everywhere and kept in a car.”

Highly commended
Company: The Golden Paste Company
Product: TurmerEase
A complete turmeric supplement for dogs and cats, TurmerEase is ethically sourced, has 100 per cent recyclable packaging, supports joint health, aids digestion and promotes coat, skin and general health and wellbeing.

Judges’ comments: “The attractive packaging features useful information on ingredients for a product with an appealing smell.”


Company: Mountain Horse
Product: Illusion reflective jacket
This technical padded jacket features reflective threads integrated to fabric on the upper part, front and back, and has a detachable hood and water-repellent finish.

Judges’ comments: “The Illusion is a smart, practical jacket with clever use of reflective technology.”

Highly commended
Company: Ariat Europe
Product: Devon Pro Nitro boot
The latest Devon Pro boot, featuring Nitro technology, boasts premium full-grain leather on the upper part, with a soft leather lining and cushioning around the top line and shorter zip than previously.

Judges’ comments: “This stylish, quality, high-end boot is backed up with sound technology.”


Company: Bliss of London
Product: Sportiva Dressage FLX saddle
The saddle features a fully interchangeable knee block, allowing existing blocks to be angled or changed to a completely different shape and style

Judges’ comments: “We found this to be a really exciting idea, neat well designed.”

Highly commended
Company: The Bombers International Trust (Bombers Bits)
Product: Relaxed Performance Weymouth bit
This spring-loaded bit is designed to ensure a relaxed performance by the horse, softening the curb and poll pressures typically associated with a Weymouth bit

Judges’ comments: “This is an innovative design we have not seen before.”


Company: Charles Owen/Airowear
Product: MS1 Pro jockey skull
This new skull introduces MIPS (multi-directional impact protection system) technology to the Charles Owen range of helmets, providing greater protection at speed.

Judges’ comments: “This is a genuine innovation in safety, lightweight, with good fit, shape and ventilation, and removable liner.”

Highly commended
Company: Finest Brands International (Toggi/Champion)
Product: Champion Revolution MIPS deluxe hat
The hat offers six areas of protection, using MIPS (multi-directional impact protection system) technology

Judges’ comments: “We were very excited by the use of MIPS technology, as well as the great quality and labelling. This is a product that Champion and retailers can really shout about.”



3rd January, 2019.

Those travelling from the US are invited to join the BETA International celebrations as the show marks its 40th anniversary.

Exhibitors and visitors will gather at The Charles Owen Spotlight on Sunday 20 January for free After-Show Drinks and canapés from 6 to 8pm.

“There is always a warm welcome for our friends from the US,” said trade fair organiser Claire Thomas. “We hope as many as possible will gather with their industry counterparts from around the world as we acknowledge this important milestone in the show's long history,”



3rd January, 2019.

Fancy a new office at Kentucky Horse Park?

USA Equestrian Trust wants to sell or lease its building at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

Home to the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) since its opening in 1999, the building overlooks the Kentucky Horse Park main arena.

The site attracts 800,000 visitors annually.

The 33,253-square-foot building can easily be subdivided, say the selling agents.

The building sits on 3.267 acres and offers plentiful on-site parking. The interior features a finished lobby and reception area, which open to the roof of the building.

The first floor includes open office space, 14 private offices, three conference rooms, a kitchen break area, restrooms and an area designed to be an on-site fitness center.

The second floor includes additional office space, a conference room and restrooms.

Throughout the building are solid-wood doors; tile, wood and carpeted flooring; and extensive chair rail and crown molding. A large patio is ideal for entertaining.

The Kentucky Horse Park is home to more than 30 organizations and associations, including the United States Equestrian Federation, United States Hunter Jumper Association, United States Dressage Federation, American Association of Equine Practitioners, United States Pony Clubs and American Saddlebred Horse Association.

The Kentucky Horse Park hosts more than 200 events annually including the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, National Horse Show and Lexington Junior League Charity Horse Show.

The building for sale for $2,995,000. Lease rates are negotiable.

The USA Equestrian Trust works to enhance the quality of equestrian sport in the US.



3rd January, 2019.

American visitors to BETA International 2019 are set to sample the world of hi-tech retailing, thanks to the show's new Vision of the Future area.

This digital showcase, with a specially created store environment and retail display, will feature a Sanbot Elf robot and revolutionary app designed to enhance the customer experience.

“We are extremely excited to unveil this new area,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas, “and very proud to be the first exhibition to utilise this app by Jisp. Visitors wishing to get the most out of their trade fair experience can download it to access product information by using their mobile phones to tap special ‘stickers’ found in the Vision of the Future area and at other points throughout the halls.”

The Sanbot Elf robot, from Robots of London, will greet visitors arriving at Vision of the Future. Standing just under one metre high, it will be accompanied by an operator and can be programmed to take part in a wide variety of tasks.



3rd January, 2019.

And as a new year begins, signs that more people are taking up riding is good for our industry.

A buoyant pre-Christmas trading period has left a leading retailer feeling optimistic.

“Numbers were way up on almost everything,” said Frances Bowers of Saddlers Row, one of the US’s largest English saddlery shops.

“It was a really good Christmas, I’m thrilled,” added Frances who has been running the Palatine, Illinois based store for 23 years.

Perhaps more significantly in the long-term, Saddlers Row is seeing a stream of newcomers crossing its threshold.

“We’re selling a lot of first time rider equipment, which is super for industry,” said Frances. “There are the children, but also older people; people returning to riding after raising families. They’re buying horses, taking riding lessons and going into barns to be competitive.

“They’re buying serious show clothes, they’re making a commitment.”

Safety first

Safety looks set to remain high on the equestrian agenda in 2019. Certainly at Saddlers Row good sellers have included the Back on Track and K One helmets, with more customers asking about the latest developments in protective liners.

In legwear, “half chaps are big,” added Frances. While highly technical, moisture wicking breeches – better known as tights or leggings – are proving popular. It’s a style that’s migrated from endurance riding to the general equestrian market.

Innovation and services

Innovative equine health care is always in demand at Saddlers Row too, new Perfect Prep from Perfect Products being an especially good seller currently.

Above all, customers want products that work well, yet are affordable, added Frances.

And the best way to beat off competition from the Internet, it appears, is to offer horse owners a range of services to keep them coming into the store.

“We have a saddler on site, engraving on site, blanket washing and repair on site; we’re price competitive and have knowledgeable staff integrated into many barns,” explains Frances.

No wonder Saddlers Row looks set for another successful year.



6th December, 2018.

Katharina C. Hamma, a key figure at the European exhibition centre Koelnmesse which hosts the Spoga markets, suddenly left her job last month.

Koelnmesse “terminated the working relationship” with Ms Hamma, its chief operating officer (COO) of seven years’ standing, on 16 November.

The board of the Cologne, Germany based exhibition centre said it had parted with its high profile COO “with immediate effect”. The reason given was “differing views on the future strategic direction of the company.”

Until further notice, Koelnmesse CEO Gerald Böse is to take over Ms Hamma's previous responsibilities.

Before joining Koelnmesse in 2011, Ms Hamma (52) was at the Messe München, an exhibition venue in Munich, Germany.

Spoga Horse is held in Cologne each Spring. Spoga, which runs in conjunction with the GAFA garden exhibition, takes place every Fall.



6th December, 2018.

A three-way consortium secures future supplies of top quality English leather from one of the UK’s oldest manufacturers.

Three family businesses have between them invested $1.91 million to save J & E Sedgwick & Co, one of Britain’s best known leather manufacturers.

A rescue package was put together after J & E Sedgwick & Co’s parent company Clayton Leather Group went into administration in early October.

The consortium comprises Abbey England, the wholesaler and saddlery workshop supplier; German tannery Kilger, leather supplier to Sedgwick for 20 years; and Crawford Leather Company, a UK and Irish hide and skin processing company.

Their rescue package has saved J & E Sedgwick & Co, protecting 60% of the firm’s jobs and maintaining its manufacturing strength to safeguard its current order book.

Abbey England, which led the consortium, relies on leather from Sedgwick for its own saddlery business. “It was imperative that we found a way to save what is one of Britain’s most prestigious leather companies,” said Richard Brown, managing director.

Aston Martin is among the consumers of Sedgwick’s leathers outside the equestrian world.

“The quality is unbeatable and the consistency is superior to any other supplier,” said Robin Coleman, who designs bespoke accessories for the luxury motor car brand.

“We’re delighted that Richard [Brown] has led this consortium to rescue the business. Had Sedgwick & Co. gone into administration, it would have totally disrupted our business.”

Abbey England, Kilger and Crawford Leather Company formally took over the running of J&E Sedgwick & Co last month. Phil Bevington, works manager, and Mark Abraham, production manager, are running the business day-to-day.



6th December, 2018.

Relocation of WESA to Texas represents “terrific opportunity for our retail partners” says leading brand.

The Western & English Sales Association (WESA) is predicting 800 suppliers will exhibit at its 2019 markets.

WESA has a new venue at the Dallas Market Center with shows planned for January and August, 2021.

Dallas Market Center is the global marketing headquarters for many of the largest Western brands. More than 200,000 customers visit its five million square foot campus each year.

“We’re working with Dallas Market Center to create new opportunities for sales representatives, manufacturers and market attendees,” said Gerald Adame, president of WESA.

“The central location, the Dallas facilities, the services and the marketing support will all help WESA members serve existing customers and offer the ability to reach more new customers.”

The initial response from suppliers is positive.

“The partnership between WESA and the Dallas Market Center represents a terrific opportunity for our retail partners,” said Beth Cross, CEO of Ariat International.

“Dallas Market Center is a world-class facility and is committed to attracting new brands to the Western market.”



6th December, 2018.

Key players from the global equestrian industry are preparing to make their annual visit to BETA International.

Online registration reveals that many – including buyers from the United States – are being quick off the mark to secure their free visitor badge.

“Visiting BETA International has never been easier or more accessible,” said show organiser Claire Thomas. “Registration is simple and effective – allowing potential visitors set plans in place before the busy Christmas period gets into full swing.

“The show has a fine reputation for its quality exhibitors, making it a highly attractive option for American retailers seeking fresh new stock, ideas and inspiration. Next year is BETA International's 40th anniversary and we are really looking forward to welcoming our American friends to the celebrations, particularly our free After-Show Drinks on Sunday evening.”

The 2019 trade fair features about 250 companies from across the world displaying hundreds of newly launched products, from large, well-established brands to small, quirky start-ups. Those wishing to visit the show for a slice of the action can register for their badge online at

BETA International is the professionals’ one-stop shop for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. Attendance gives retailers a keen competitive edge. The 2019 show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 20 to 22 January.

For further information on visiting, contact Clair Webster, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email, or visit



1st November, 2018.

It’s (nearly) all change on the trade fair front.

There will be no AETA (American Equestrian Trade Association) trade show in January 2019.

The next edition of what’s traditionally been a twice-yearly fixture will be on 10 – 12 August, 2019 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA.

“AETA will not be holding a show in January,” said Jackie King, executive director of AETA.

Exhibitors at this year’s latest AETA, held in Philadelphia in August, gave the show mixed reviews. Several said that twice a year was too often.

August’s AETA event was the first under new management. King Management Group was appointed by the trade association to run the show earlier this year.

But, as reported by ETN US E-News, a lack of support from retailers prompted questions about its frequency.

Rumours that a number of regular AETA exhibitors are planning a small series of hotel based, showroom type markets in January remain unconfirmed.

New dates for WESA

Meanwhile the WESA (Western & English Sales Association) markets have new dates for 2019.

WESA’s winter market will remain in January (11 – 21), but its fall market is to switch from September to June (19 – 21).

WESA recently announced a change of show venue too. From January 2019, it goes to the Dallas Market Center (DMC). The market’s June dates coincide with two days of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market at the DMC.

Move to a weekend

In Europe, spoga horse spring has adjusted its dates to appeal to retailers with bricks and mortar stores.

Usually held on a Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, next year’s fair in Cologne, Germany will be on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (2 – 4 February, 2019).

“It is easier for the stationary trade [those with physical shops] to visit the show on the weekend,” said spoga horse spring communications manager Sarah Becker-Kraft

While all [bricks and mortar and Internet] retailers would be admitted, she denied that the new weekend dates would mean opening to private persons, such as horse owners.

BETA International stands firm

Among the cancellations and changing dates, buyers might be relieved to hear that BETA International steadfastly remains on track.

The show is sticking to its traditional dates of Sunday, Monday, Tuesday 20 – 22 January at the UK’s premier exhibition centre, the NEC, Birmingham.

The show’s organisers have also confirmed it will be back there on 19 - 21 January, 2020.



1st November, 2018.

“We’d rather get them back, own the problem and sort it,” says spokesman for affected brand.

The Weatherbeeta Group in the US and UK has recalled all current models in its Collegiate saddles range.

“We’re bringing back all stock we’ve sold. There have been no incidents but we’d rather get them back, own the problem and sort it,” said Doug Walker, Weatherbeeta Group president for North America, Europe and the Middle East.

The recall follows the detection of “some significant variations in an important component,” he added.

The saddles are due to be inspected this week and, if necessary, repaired. Weatherbeeta has pledged to cover all costs. “Nobody will be out of pocket,” added Mr Walker.

The Weatherbeeta Group’s full statement is as follows:

The Weatherbeeta Group in the UK and USA has initiated a recall for all the current models we have in in our Collegiate Saddles range. This is to conduct a precautionary inspection after some significant variations in an important component were detected. We take the quality and safety of our products extremely seriously and any potential defects of this nature are unacceptable to us. In the meantime, we have asked all our customers to stop using their Collegiate saddles and for retailers to take them off sale and return stock to us.

When the saddles are returned to us at Rushden [UK] and Edison [US], we will inspect them all (and our existing stock) and, if there are any defects, correct them and return them to available stock. We will undertake that inspection and correction as quickly and professionally as is necessary to ensure that when we return Collegiate saddles to sale, they are of the quality we stand behind.

Our decision to deal with this problem swiftly, professionally and openly will, we hope, underline our commitment to service. We believe in quality and will take the decisions necessary to protect our reputation. We also believe strongly in our brands - we believe in our bands and always take a long term view of their health. Collegiate will remain a high priority for us in the coming months and years regardless of these short term difficulties.

We are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience this has caused to our retail customers and end users. We promise we will resolve the situation as swiftly as we can.



1st November, 2018.

Retailer celebrates a milestone with customers and local community.

Marshall, Virginia based retailer Tri-County Feeds marked its 40th anniversary last month with a Family Fall Festival.

The event on Sunday, 20 October saw around 600 people enjoy the event. Local community vendors offered food and wine, local organizations shared their services and rescue organizations showed off their pets.

“Our partners provided wonderful door prizes and enjoyed meeting with customers as they presented their lines,” said Jeri Jackson, owner and buyer. “A great time had by all!”

The Festival was inspired by Tri-County Feeds’ founder Bill Jackson’s mission to provide feed, equine products and outdoor clothing to match Virginia’s history and passion for horses. Over the years, husband and wife Bill and Jeri Jackson have developed the business into a one-stop-shop for the equestrian enthusiast, farmer, and nature and animal lover.

Originally operating out of a garage in Middleburg, Tri-County’s present home is a 12,000 square foot, three-storey, post and beam retail area. An additional 12,000 square foot warehouse has 14 loading bays.

Recent innovative projects include bringing organically managed hay from the Finger Lakes region in New York to the store’s customers.

“Tri-County wouldn’t be successful today if it weren’t for caring customers, community and friends who helped to pave the way,” said Bill. “The people involved in the daily operations — from the truck driver, bookkeeping, inventory control people to the sales floor and the cashiers — everybody who puts time and effort into the feed store experience has a hand in its success.”

Four decades on, and the Jackson family continues to drive the business forward. Their energy and immaculate customer focus suggests there will be many more anniversaries to come.



1st November, 2018.

All the more reason to freshen up your store with new products your competitors don’t have, says ETN US E-News editor Liz Benwell.

Trading is challenging for bricks and mortar stores, and e-commerce operations aren’t having it easy either.

But when the going gets tough, the tough get going… And in the specialist retailer’s case, that means offering your customers products your competitors can’t – because they don’t have them.

To be savvy about selecting stock, you need to visit BETA International. Then you can get hands-on with products and face-to-face with suppliers.

Yes, there’s a transatlantic trip to make. But this is a proven show of 40 years’ standing where buyers are guaranteed to find what they need - internationally renowned brands plus innovative newcomers.

That’s why successful retailers visit BETA International in Birmingham, UK, every year. The 2019 show is on 20 – 22 January.

Why make the trip?

If retailing is tough right now, all the more reason to do something different. How about meeting the people behind famous names like these – and checking out their new collections?

Abbey England
Abbey England Pavilion featuring Ideal & WRS/Ryder Saddles/WRM Saddles/Equitek/Winners Circle/Paul Jones Saddles
Bliss of London
Ridgway Leather
Schockemoehle Sports
Vale Brothers
Neue Schule
Wintec Saddles
Bates Saddles
Carr & Day & Martin. Day, Son & Hewitt
Shires Equestrian
Charles Owen/Airowear
Breyer Model Horses
Alan Paine
Horse First
Grubs Boots
Horseware Products
Majyk Equipe
ARC Equine
Stubbs England
DeNiro Boots

Why we make the trip…. These retailers visited BETA International earlier this year. Here’s what they had to say:

• “With saddles, it’s so good to see them in the flesh and to sit in them.”

• “This is our annual visit to refresh our shop.”

• “We’ve seen so much here you’d never find on the internet.”

• “We’ve seen masses of new ideas and some great offers.”

• “I came for ideas and inspiration - and I’ve found them.”

• “This is our best chance to see what’s new and what’s current – and to get our hands on the products.”

• “It’s lovely to meet our suppliers face to face.”

Still not sure?

The BETA International organisers are a friendly bunch, all too ready to help you organise travel and accommodation. Visit and we’ll see you at the show!



4th October, 2018.

Clothing brand sees tweed and fleece sales soar.

Alan Paine has reported “hugely encouraging” year on year sales growth in the US.

Sales have more than doubled for two of the British country clothing label’s tweed waterproof coats.

The company, a regular exhibitor at leading UK trade show BETA International, has also seen demand for its Aylsham fleece gilet multiply by five this year compared with 2017.

Selected items from Alan Paine’s Country Collection form a capsule lifestyle offering for retailers. Featuring quintessential English styling, it complements the brand’s knitwear ranges.

Among the lines enjoying increased sales is the waterproof, breathable Surrey men’s coat (pictured).



4th October, 2018.

American visitors to BETA International 2019 can see the cream of British saddles and bridle work in the Abbey England Saddlery Pavilion

This exciting new initiative, developed by the trade fair in collaboration with the UK's leading saddlery workshop supplier, will showcase products from some of the country's finest saddlers.

Retailers from the US will enjoy a ringside seat and a fantastic opportunity to buy into this prestigious product sector that is highly prized throughout the world.

“The Abbey England Saddlery Pavilion is designed to showcase British saddlery at its very best,” said BETA International sales manager James Palmer. “It has received the backing of the prestigious Worshipful Company of Saddlers and allows us as a trade show, to support the UK's historic saddlery industry in a powerful and effective way.

“The pavilion will feature British saddlery and leather work only from companies that have not had an independent presence at the show for the past three years, guaranteeing our American visitors first bite of the cherry when it comes to sourcing fresh, exciting new brands and products.”

The pavilion will house 11 British saddlery and leather companies, allowing visitors to view the products in one dedicated area within the show.

BETA International is the leading trade fair for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. Next year’s show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 20 to 22 January.

For further information about the show, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email To register for a free visitor pass, please apply online here.



4th October, 2018.

Lilo Navales, president and creative director of LILO Collections – Leather Goods of Spain, shares a trader’s inside story from last month’s the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Tryon.

One reaps what they sow and we put our heart and soul into this event. It’s been (for us at least) a most memorable and very positive WEG.

The security guards joked with us because every day we got to the [retail] Village by 6:45 am or earlier (gates opened at 8:00 am) and we pretty much were the last ones to leave each night past 8:00 pm.

Yes, we certainly covered the costs, made $, wrote up new wholesale accounts, saw current customers, rejuvenated old accounts, got several prospects both domestic and international, made new friends who will most certainly support our network of tack shops, boutiques and online partners and we got tons of feedback for new products. We are so thrilled that our belts and bracelets are travelling back home to so many parts of the world!

We’ve connected with at least 3 new manufacturers that did not know about AETA and who will be exhibiting next year. They are excited to show their products and to get them into shops. From cool boot cuff toppers to certified organic fly sprays, to a practical trainer’s app, these are some of the innovative products and services that buyers will be able to see at AETA’s next show.

Given the weather, the less than 18 months[WEG organiser] Bellissimo had to build an equestrian “city”, and all the bad press, as a vendor we are more than satisfied with how things went. Could it have been better? Sure it could have been, but we made the best with the situation including adding a green space oasis and an annex to our tent which had been flooded and overall we exceeded our expectations!

For some vendors that decided to pack it up Saturday because rain had been forecasted for Sunday (not until the afternoon) it was certainly their loss. Not a single drop fell and it was dry at least until 11:30 pm when we finished loading the truck. A lot of Latin American consumers flew up Friday just for the weekend and they had the $$$ to spend.

We killed it!! Our best day ever. I’m sure that many vendors will agree that it was insane. The crowds poured into the venue and were ready to shop.

Would we do it again? Absolutely! Not only was it terrific brand exposure but also seeing the happiness on people’s faces after they designed their own belt and were able to walk away wearing it. It was priceless! Just ask Lara Hinkle, our sales rep, who is now a certified LILO Master Belt Fitter, what she saw and experienced.

The level of riding competition, the performances that were given, the world records that were set including USA’s historic Team Jumping win and the roars coming from the stadium were both memorable and electrifying!

We are so grateful to have been part of this edition of WEG.

Take a virtual tour of the WEG trade village

4th October, 2018.

Neue Schule – BETA International 2019 main sponsor and North Yorkshire, UK based bitting specialist - attended WEG. Experience the trade village for yourself via their US distributors’ short video clip:



6th September, 2018.

US companies are invited to stake their claim at BETA International for a share of the lucrative country clothing and leisure markets.

Manufacturers and suppliers from these thriving sectors will benefit from a high-profile presence at the 2019 show, where many UK and overseas brands have taken their place on the world's leading business and buying platform.

Famous names – including Aigle International UK, Alan Paine, Baleno, Grubs Boots, Chatham Footwear, House of Cheviot, The Original Muck Boot Company and Treesco SAS are booked to appear in January 2019, generating a strong country and leisure vibe throughout the three-day event.

“BETA International offers a brilliant opportunity for American suppliers to develop export potential and make their mark on the world stage,” said sales manager James Palmer. “Exhibiting at the show puts companies right in front of almost 4,500 of the industry's key movers and shakers, including representatives from some of the most prestigious retail organisations.”

More than 85% of commercial space has already been taken and stand allocation is due to start after 21 September. It will take place on a first come, first served basis. “There is still a fantastic range of stand space available and signing up as soon as possible puts companies in the running for one of the very best locations,” said James.

To find out more about exhibiting at BETA International, please visit the BETA International website,, or contact James Palmer, email or telephone +44 (0)1937 582111.

BETA International is the world's leading trade fair for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. The 2019 show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 20 to 22 January.



6th September, 2018.

AETA exhibitors had mixed views about the first show under new management.

Is twice a year too often? That was the question on many an exhibitor’s lips during last month’s AETA.

More than 150 companies participated in The American Equestrian Trade Association’s 2018 AETA International Trade Show on 11 - 13 August at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.

It was the first running of the market operating under new management. King Management Group was appointed by the trade association to run the AETA show earlier this year.

As usual, the trade only event hosted English and Western merchandise, plus the opportunity to network with industry experts and attend educational sessions.

But it was the lack of support from retailers that prompted questions about its frequency.

Shires Equestrian has exhibited at the January and August editions of AETA for more than ten years, and plans to return in 2019. But managing director Marcus Cridland pulled no punches: “They [the organisers] have a tough job on their hands. The biggest problem is getting enough retailers to support the show,” he said.

And Marcus’ solution? “I would say one show per year is enough, then maybe it would be better supported.”

Some sort of event - not just a party - that draws retailers to the show, was the constructive suggestion from Lida Bard at FITS Riding. Her ideas include the likes of a fashion show, demonstrations, even drafting in TV personalities.

“They need to really focus on how to get the retailers to attend and buy from the manufacturers,” added Lida, a regular AETA exhibitor since acquiring FITS Riding in 2015. And, yes, she plans to return next year.

Meanwhile, Stuart James at long-time AETA exhibitor SSG Gloves felt the organisers are “doing all they can do – all shows [find] it difficult to get attendance.



6th September, 2018.

Two big names find an innovative way to reach consumers.

Joint supplement Cosequin Equine and saddle-maker Devoucoux are endearing themselves to eventing fans with a new sponsorship initiative.

The two companies are backing a live streaming service available to everyone from the upcoming International Plantation Fields Horse Trials in South Carolina on 20 – 23 September.

The three-star competition’s dressage, show jumping and cross country phases will be covered in full – with commentary and interviews in the mix too.

The organisers of this popular event, which traditionally attracts a host of top international riders, are also inviting local businesses to advertise in the program – and, more innovatively, volunteer to help during the horse trials.

It’s all good news for equestrian sport at a time when interest is sure to be heightened following this month’s World Equestrian Games on home soil in Tryon.

American medals won are bound to inspire new riders and younger ones to reach for new heights. Be ready for the gold rush, retailers!



6th September, 2018.

British helmet brand agrees deal with American distributor.

British-made safety wear by Champion is to be distributed in the USA through Toklat Originals Inc.

Sarah-Jane Fedarb, managing director of Champion Manufacturing, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Toklat and have been impressed with their professionalism and highly regarded standing in our industry.”

Champion has recently extended its Evolution helmet range which is now available in three new styles, the Puissance, Pearl and the Diamond.

“This is a great time to expand the availability of the Champion brand in the USA,” added Sarah-Jane.

Champion helmets and body protectors have been made in Britain for 40 years. The family business is owned and run by the second generation of the Ayres family.

Toklat Originals Inc is best known for Myler Bits, Irideon Riding Wear plus its English and Western saddle pads manufactured in the USA. The company also distributes European labels Bucas, Roeckl, Woof Wear, Zilco - and now Champion.



2nd August, 2018.

Supplier celebrates half a century of innovation.

Shires Equestrian, the British company with a North American distribution hub, marks its 50th anniversary next month.

A regular AETA exhibitor, Shires will be back at the show next week showcasing its Spring 2019 product ranges, plus winter 2018 blankets.

Malcolm Ainge started the company in Pershore, England, when he borrowed some stock to sell at cattle markets and racecourse auctions. Today, Shires Equestrian has approximately 1,800 stockists worldwide.

Earlier this year, Shires was named Trade Supplier of the Year at the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Business Awards for the second consecutive time. And Malcolm was presented with the BETA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Shires was born in 1968. Malcolm and his father-in-law Phil White kept hearing about the poor fit of some equestrian products then on the market – so set out to do better. They purchased a sewing machine and designed a pattern for saddlecloths, before moving on to blankets. Their offerings were soon selling across the UK and Europe.

By 1976, Shires had moved to a bigger factory in Bromyard, Herefordshire, England. The company grew to a staff of 40 and began employing machinists to produce large quantities of jute, New Zealand, wool and cotton blankets.

Today, Shires has a team of in-house designers and employs up to 400 people in its factory in China. With complete control over the design, raw materials and manufacture, Shires can make quality products affordable to all horse owners.

Shires is now a truly international company. As well as its UK headquarters in Herefordshire, and North American distribution centre and offices in Epping, New Hampshire, it has a base in Ireland.

Shires is still very much a family business. Malcolm remains involved as chairman; his son Stuart Ainge and nephew Marcus Cridland took over as joint managing directors at the beginning of 2017; his daughter Louise Ainge is marketing manager.

“I’m immensely proud to be marking this milestone with such a great team of individuals,” said Malcolm. “We’ve achieved such a lot and it’s all down to the hard work and dedication from everyone involved with the company.

“We feel very privileged to have been supported by so many loyal consumers over the years.”

In 2009, Shires Equestrian was awarded a Royal Warrant, granted by HM The Queen, as Supplier to the Royal Stables.

A company dedicated to best practice, Shires supports the World Wildlife Fund as a member of the Leather Buyers’ Platform which aims to increase awareness of the leather industry’s impact on the River Ganges and improve sustainability.

Equestrian sport also gets Shires’ backing via its sponsored riders. North American ambassadors include Emily Beshear and Selena Ohanlon.

Shires is looking to the future with recent launches such as its ARMA leg protection and Moretta footwear. Earlier this year, Digby & Fox brought dog products to the Shires’ stable while new clothing brand Aubrion embraces the outdoors with competition and casual wear collections.

• See Shires Equestrian at AETA (booth 1608). Industry leading booking discounts are available for orders taken at the trade show.



2nd August, 2018.

Next week sees the first show under the trade association’s new management.

More than 150 companies covering 400 booths are due to participate in The American Equestrian Trade Association’s 2018 AETA International Trade Show on 11 - 13 August at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at 100 Station Avenue in Oaks, Pennsylvania.

Operating under new management – King Management Group was appointed to run AETA earlier this year – organisers say this year’s show is set to be its biggest edition yet.

The trade only event (the show is not open to the public) enables attendees to view English and Western merchandise, network with industry experts and attend educational sessions.

“Retail buyers will have exclusive access to new industry products, and the opportunity to buy many of them on the spot from exhibitors at a discount,” said a spokesman for AETA.



2nd August, 2018.

Fresh packages to make professionally designed stands more affordable.

New stand options have been introduced for BETA International 2019.

Organisers report that the show, on 22 – 24 January at the NEC, Birmingham, is already 85% sold.

The new packages reduce the time and money it takes to build a stand from scratch. Companies already booked can switch onto the new formats.

“People often say to me that if they’re going to have a stand, they want to do it properly – and quite right too,” says James Palmer, sales manager.

“So we’ve come up with a way of enabling exhibitors to have really professional looking stands - with the hassle of build handled by us and all within a manageable budget.”

As well as the option to include stand creation in a booking for space, BETA International has deals for new, small and emerging companies, shell scheme stands and open space.

Exhibitors are automatically entered into the BETA International best stand awards. Entries for the fashion show, new product gallery and innovations awards are open to all companies that take stands.

The full BETA International stand options guide with prices can be downloaded here

Or call James Palmer on +44 (0) 1937582111 email or visit



2nd August, 2018.

Newcomer is a rider with a passion for retail.

The Weatherbeeta Group in North America has appointed a new vice president of sales and marketing.

Jenny Super has previously worked for Dickies, Aramark, Hershey and PetsMart.

With a passion for the equestrian industry and helping develop brands in retail, Jenny is also a rider.

She reports to Doug Walker who has been promoted to president for Europe and North America.



5th July, 2018.

A British company’s alliance with its American distributor is going from strength to strength.

Emerald Valley Natural Health of Exeter, New Hampshire, has handled British Horse Feeds’ US distribution for seven years.

British Horse Feeds manufactures the Speedi-Beet and Fibre-Beet equine feed brands.

Next month, Will I’Anson, director of the North Yorkshire, England based company, is to attend the AETA International Trade Show (11 – 13 August) at the invitation of Emerald Valley Natural Health.

Speedi-Beet and Fibre-Beet were recently approved to carry the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) EGUS feed assurance mark. The accreditation indicates their suitability for equines prone to equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) as part of a balanced diet.

“The scheme is a major step forward in identifying products that support a reduction in the incidence of EGUS and we are very pleased that both our leading horse feeds have met the strict criteria,” said Will I’Anson.

For more than two decades, Emerald Valley Natural Health has offered high quality, reliable equine herbal supplements, specialty feeds, treats and mashes.

“We specialise in providing healthy alternative feeds and supplements for horses with metabolic issues, Cushings disease and laminitis,” said Cheryl Price.

Emerald Valley is a member of the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC), certified to display the NASC Seal of Quality. The seal assures consumers they are buying a product from a reputable company that has successfully completed a facility audit.

Speedi-Beet and Fibre-Beet are low in starch and sugar, high in fibre and rich in pectins. It is these pectins that have been shown to strengthen and thicken the stomach mucus which in turn helps protect against high levels of stomach acid, says British Horse Feeds.

Additionally, both products have a high acid binding capacity which means they can soak up excess stomach acid and help maintain the stomach at the correct level of acidity. Fibre-Beet also contains alfalfa, which has been shown to have a high ‘acid binding capacity’ that can last up to six hours, even when fed alongside hard feed.



5th July, 2018.

This supplier from the Emerald Isle is dipping its toe into the American market.

A new range of Irish designed socks – created by riders for riders – is new to the US trade.

California based Equisoc USA, the American distribution company for the brand, is managed by Damien Shields who’s Irish born and bred.

Originating from Dublin, Ireland, the socks are suitable for ladies, gents and young riders, says managing director Kevin Melia who will join Damian Shields on a stand at AETA in Philadelphia next month.

Each Equisoc pack contains two pairs of socks; one is elaborate and playful in design, the other more reserved yet eye-catching.

“The socks are quality made with breathable fabric and a thin calf weave for ease in a fitted boot,” explained Damien Sheilds.

“We had a great reaction from the BETA International show this year, and are gaining momentum in the market place, so Equisoc USA looks like it will make its mark at AETA too.”



5th July, 2018.

Apparel specialist relocates to new premises complete with showroom.

FITS has moved to a new, larger headquarters. The apparel specialist remains located in Aiken, South Carolina.

Since purchasing the company in 2015, Lida Bard has rented office space in Aiken’s historic downtown. But those premises were quickly outgrown and more space was needed.

Now FITS has built and moved to its own 6,000 sq ft office and warehouse space, complete with a showroom.

FITS designs and manufactures technologically innovative products. The company has two USA patents and one EU patent covering the seamless crotch gusset that’s included in all its breech styles and its perforated, segmented leather full seat on its PerforMAX styles.

Other products include sun shirts, outer wear pieces, all-mesh four-way stretch show coats and compression breeches.

Following the move, FITS’ zip code and phone numbers remain unchanged. The company will be exhibiting at AETA.



5th July, 2018.

US companies seeking a share of the global equestrian market can make their mark at BETA International from as little as £1,068 ($1,411)*.

The show's NewZone stands offer a highly effective platform for trade and business, and are designed specifically for new companies and those wanting to make their exhibition début.

A first port of call for many of BETA International's audience of top industry buyers, NewZones enjoy a fine reputation as a go-to location for new products, ideas and inspiration.

This entry-level stand provides the perfect exhibition solution, with 6 sq m of invaluable commercial space complete with carpeting, lighting and furniture. Everything has been carefully thought through and is ready-waiting and raring to go. Exhibitors only need to organise their graphics and product displays.

“NewZones are a fantastic opportunity for American companies to dip their toe in this extremely lucrative sector, where the UK equestrian share alone is valued at £4.3 billion,” says BETA International sales manager James Palmer. “We have a great range of NewZone stands available and options to suit all budgets.”

If you would like to find out more about exhibiting at BETA International, please visit the BETA International website,, or contact James Palmer, email or telephone +44 (0)1937 582111.

BETA International is the world's leading trade fair for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. The 2019 show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 20 to 22 January.

* This conversion from sterling to US dollars is correct at time of publication.



7th June, 2018.

An “affordable” new range of ASTM F1163-15/SEI certified helmets impresses at Kentucky.

Weatherbeeta Group, alongside its trade customer One Stop Equine Shop, launched a new collection of Dublin riding helmets at last month’s Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event in Lexington.

The “stylish comfortable and affordable” Chevron, Jet and Opal helmets are priced from $32.99 to $59.99. They are ASTM F1163-15/SEI certified.

The Kentucky launch of this US helmet range coincided with BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) Safety Week which Weatherbeeta Group supported with the introduction of new Dublin riding hats in the UK.

Doug Walker, general manager of Weatherbeeta Group, says that riders need the right tools to ride safely.

“In ours, and many other sports, there’s never been a greater focus on the dangers of concussion and the need for proper head protection,” he explained.

“A good fitting and safe helmet could save a life. And it needn’t be expensive. Dublin helmets are affordable for every budget and are ASTM F1163-15/SEI certified.”

Doug added that retailers can help promote rider safety too. “Tell your customers to replace their helmets after every knock to protect their heads. After all, our brains have to last a lifetime.’’

Kentucky visitors were able to try on the new Dublin helmets, with key account manager Madeleine Slack offering a fitting service during the event.

“The variety of fits and features ensured that all customers were able to walk away with a new Dublin helmet - and customers were impressed with the price of the product too,” she said.

The new Dublin Chevron, Jet and Opal are available in a variety of colors. They feature vents for breathability and a dial adjustment system for fitting.



7th June, 2018.

The wearable, drug-free device – which owners can administer to their horses – is now available in the US.

English Riding Supply (ERS) has become the American distributor for ArcEquine, a therapy system being much talked about in Europe.

The microcurrent technology device for horses is wearable, drug-free and non-invasive. It’s designed for pain management and tissue repair.

ArcEquine is popular with European professional riders, trainers, owners, therapists and vets, although it requires no clinical training so can be used by all horse owners.

Microcurrent technology mirrors the body’s natural current. When injury occurs, ArcEquine kick starts normal functioning to assist with recovery.



7th June, 2018.

New bridle range has added benefits for stockists too.

Noseband tightness and correct bridle fitting is a hot topic which Schockemöhle Sports has tackled head on with a new bridlework collection.

Select & Mix, from the German company’s well established Anatomic label, comes as separate components. So each horse’s bridle can be virtually made-to-measure.

Individually supplied nosebands, head-pieces, browbands and cheek-pieces co-ordinate in colour and shape to match perfectly. The end result is a seamless bespoke bridle.

Schockemöhle Sports’ Select & Mix works for stockists too. The separate bridle pieces are supplied in individual, high quality bags for effective retail display.

Indeed, helping a customer create a tailor-made bridle for a horse that had previously frustrated with its intermediate sizing means stockists can offer even more outstanding customer service.

Select & Mix nosebands and head-pieces feature anatomically pre-shaped nosebands and soft padding designed to suit sensitive horses.

All spare parts are offered in cob and full sizes.



7th June, 2018.

Big buyers with large budgets make exhibiting at BETA International a hugely attractive prospect for US companies.

Around 4,500 of the industry's key movers and shakers looking for new and inspiring products arrive at this world-leading trade fair for three days of quality business and buying. Many are from large, multi-site retail chains or highly regarded independent stores.

Visitor figures are verified by Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), reflecting BETA International's commitment to transparency. This means that every visitor is counted only once, with no repeat entries ever included.

“BETA International is the professionals' one-stop-shop – a truly global event with a fantastic reputation,” said sales manager James Palmer. “We welcome more than 300 exhibitors each year and, thanks to our strong links with the equestrian industry in the US, this includes a growing number of American companies.

“BETA International 2019 will be our 40th show and we are extremely proud of this rich heritage and our rock-solid reputation. With favourable exchange rates and a large, captive audience of buyers, there has never been a better time for US companies to sign up to claim their share of this lucrative market.”

BETA International is the world's leading trade fair for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. The 2019 show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 20 to 22 January.

For further information on exhibiting, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111, email or visit



3rd May, 2018.

BETA Safety Week enjoyed a high profile presence at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. This inaugural awareness-raising campaign devised by the British Equestrian Trade Association was represented at the CCI4* competition by two of the world's leading hat manufacturers, Charles Owen and Champion.

Both companies invited visitors and competitors along to their BETA Safety Week- branded stands for free riding hat and body protector checks as part of a drive to flag up the importance of safety gear and equipment that is correctly fitted, fastened and up to standard.

BETA Safety Week, which runs from 28 April to 6 May has become truly international with more than 60 US equestrian retailers joining their counterparts from across the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe to support the initiative, which encourages riders to visit their local stores to ensure that their safety garments are fit for purpose and ready for the season ahead.

Many top riders such as US showjumpers Laura Kraut and Beezie Madden have lent their backing and played a key role in BETA Safety Week's social media promotion. All 184 equestrian retailers taking part are included in a list of participating stores uploaded to the British Equestrian Trade Association's website,



3rd May, 2018.

On the Queen’s birthday, April 21, it was announced that British saddlemaker Fairfax Saddles has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Innovation. The Queen’s Awards are the top business awards in the UK and Fairfax Saddles is the only saddlemaker ever to be so recognised.

Though the award is based on the revolutionary Fairfax Performance Girth, which was developed to give Team Great Britain a performance advantage at the 2012 London Olympics, Fairfax Saddles is now renowned for its range of saddles, bridles, girths and breastplates, which are all handcrafted in Britain.

Fairfax products are developed with world-class elite riders and under scientific conditions to prove that they enhance the horse's performance, as was the girth. “No scientific data existed to show how much pressure an ordinary girth exerted on the horse, and how this impacted on its movement,” explains design director Vanessa Fairfax.

A combination of pressure mapping and gait analysis technology is used during product development and testing. The peer-reviewed papers resulting from the research work have been published in the scientific journals “The Equine Veterinary Journal” and “The Journal of Equine Veterinary Science”.

Vanessa Fairfax and her husband Rupert, co-owners of Fairfax Saddles, have been invited to Buckingham Palace for an awards reception in June.

Fairfax Saddles has enjoyed a close connection with BETA International since 1991.

BETA International sales manager James Palmer said: “We were thrilled to hear this great news and send our congratulations to Rupert , Vanessa and their team. Fairfax Saddles is highly regarded within the equestrian industry and its presence at BETA International is a fantastic reflection of the quality and craftsmanship available to our visitors.”



3rd May, 2018.

Riders of all levels and disciplines are invited to join Charles Owen and participate in BETA Safety Week from 28 April to 6 May. During the inaugural year of this event, equestrians around the world will have the opportunity to ensure that their safety gear is properly fitted and up to standard.

BETA Safety Week is taking place between two international CCI4* events: the Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event (US) and the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (UK). With top athletes performing on the world stage and riders around the globe starting the season in their respective disciplines, it is the perfect time for safety to be made a priority.

"It's an amazing initiative and I think there will be a lot of new material generated to help to get the message of safety across to riders," said Charles Owen Chairman Roy Burek. "The fact that it will cover almost 10 days is brilliant because it will allow this very important part of riding to get its due attention."

During the week, riders are encouraged to visit their local participating tack store to check that their current helmets and body protectors are up to standard and fitted correctly.

Charles Owen is joined by international organizations including The Pony Club, British Eventing and British Riding Clubs in celebrating BETA Safety Week. Top equestrians, including sponsored Airowear and Charles Owen sponsored rider William Fox Pitt and Charles Owen sponsored riders Beezie Madden, Laura Kraut, Nick Skelton and Charlotte Dujardin, have also committed to participating in what will be a landmark occasion for promoting a safer world.



3rd May, 2018.

The Western & English Sales Association (WESA) has been given a fresh, modern look.

The market organiser’s new look, such as a new website ( and logo, are part of a significant re-branding package.

Since 1922, WESA has produced some of the largest markets in the industry.

“Naturally, the association has evolved throughout the years. With each market, WESA has modernized, as well as globalized,” said a spokesman.

“Now, WESA has emerged into an ever-growing, ever-changing international market that is attracting a global, multi-faceted audience of Western and English retailers, manufacturers and suppliers.”

While its representation has been updated, WESA’s mission and values remain the same.



3rd May, 2018.

Twice a year the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA) tradeshow takes place at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania, USA with a goal to support and grow a strong equestrian industry marketplace. Their mission is to unite and advance the community of the equine trade business aiming to deliver education and bring together exhibitors and buyers across a three-day span. Following the success of the January tradeshow, Weatherbeeta Group intends on expanding their booth space at the upcoming August show.

Weatherbeeta’s Northern Hemisphere General Manager, Doug Walker supports increasing the size of the booth space to accommodate the new product introductions and the influx of buyers. “We had an excellent show in January. The WeatherBeeta ComFiTec range has created a stir and there’s a growing interest in Dublin and Collegiate as well,” says Walker” Walker believes the show is an excellent opportunity to showcase Weatherbeeta’s key brands and generate excitement about newly-launched products.

The company has designed a space that is inviting to buyers where they can come in and learn about the products first hand. The design of the new booth space is part of a long-term strategy to continue to showcase new products. Walker emphasizes that AETA is a show by the industry, for the industry. The ability to network with customers in person over the three-day span of the show is an opportunity you will not find elsewhere. Walker concluded, “AETA has worked extremely hard to improve the show and it’s priced very competitively while also being commercially good for our company. It’s an environment built solely upon cultivating relationships in the equestrian industry. Whether through scheduled appointments or walk-ins, companies at AETA have a three-day window to market their products and generate sales. “

The next AETA show will take place August 11-13,2018 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center where Weatherbeeta will not only showcase their latest products for the next upcoming season but will also host another media event with the largest American equestrian publications.



3rd May, 2018.

Re-live the atmosphere and meet the people behind the scenes via this video from January’s trade fair.

BETA International 2018 organisers have released a short film of the event.

With interviews, action clips and reaction, it’s a great way to re-visit the atmosphere of the show held at the NEC, Birmingham in January.

Sponsors, members of the press and organising team lend their opinions; while some famous faces can be spotted too.

BETA International returns to the NEC, Birmingham on 20-22 January, 2019.



5th April, 2018.

Company named official supplier as its founder aims to compete at the world championships in Tryon, NC.

Horseware has been announced as the Official Equestrian Clothing and Blanket Supplier for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG).

Under the deal, the Irish based company has exclusive rights to produce and sell official WEG products during the championships in Tryon, North Carolina from 11 to 23 September.

“The brand will have significant vendor space onsite where attendees can purchase commemorative WEG merchandise and shop the full range of high-performance products offered by the brand,” say the organisers.

Horseware is producing the uniforms for all WEG staff and 3,500 volunteers, as well as awarding presentation coolers to each of the 850 participating horses.

Horseware’s founder Tom MacGuinness is aiming to ride on the Irish endurance team at WEG. He’s pictured with Sasha D’Allais, the mare on which he qualified by completing a 160km race in Spain last year.

"We’re delighted to be the Official Equestrian Clothing Partner for the WEG,” said Mr MacGuinness.

“We have had a long association with WEF [Winter Equestrian Festival] and this is an extension of that cooperation. We hope to bring truly special commemorative WEG clothing, as well as high performance fabrics for the staff apparel and prize blankets.

“We are very excited about this WEG and know it's going to be the best games ever."



5th April, 2018.

Dressage competitors have been given the all clear to use some additional snaffle and Weymouth style bits.

More bits by Neue Schule have been declared ‘legal’ for use in USEF dressage competitions.

The British company’s Turtle Top with Flex Snaffle, Turtle Tactio with Flex Snaffle and Turtle Tilt Weymouth have received official approval from the USEF Dressage Sport Department.

The new rulings, which became effective on 20 February, reflect FEI [international] equipment regulations already in place.

Neue Schule bits are uniquely made from Salox Gold. Thanks to its high thermal conductivity, this material warms quickly to the temperature of the horse’s mouth.

Mette Larsen of Metlar is Neue Schule’s US distributor.



5th April, 2018.

Leading British brands such as Gatehouse and Mark Todd can be shipped directly to US stores.

UK based wholesaler Trilanco has appointed a new international team to support its overseas distribution of equine, pet and agricultural products.

“Our international strategy was accelerated when [earlier this year] we became the exclusive trade distributor for Westgate EFI brands including Gatehouse and Mark Todd,” said Marylise Silk, head of international business development for Trilanco.

The wholesaler is in the early stages of developing a product catalogue specifically for its international customers, added Ms Silk.

North American trade orders are typically fulfilled by Trilanco via airfreight.

“This is the quickest and most efficient method of transporting goods overseas and is fully trackable,” said marketing manager Michelle Worrall.

“We can look at other shipping services to help meet US customers’ preferences. Customers can also arrange for their own courier to collect orders,” she added.

Alongside Marylise Silk, Trilanco’s new international team comprises international sales executive Danielle Jones, and international sales co-ordinator Rona Jones.

Michael Moore is responsible for overseeing the dispatch of Trilanco’s international consignments. He is supported by a growing number of warehouse operatives who pick and pack orders to be sent overseas.

“We want to keep growing in smart ways and establishing a new team to drive our international wholesale business is an invaluable asset,” said managing director Martin Balmer.

Trilanco exhibited at Global Pet Expo in Florida last month.

The company offers retailers more than 250 brands and over 22,000 products from leading manufacturers.

Last year Trilanco opened a $9.9 million, purpose-built warehouse at its Wesham, Lancashire, UK headquarters.



5th April, 2018.

An attorney becomes executive director as the trade association’s board hires a new team.

King Management Group (KMG) has been appointed to run the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA).

Abingdon, MD based KMG was founded in 2012 by Steve and Jackie King. The company specialises in managing not-for-profit organizations.

Ms King, now AETA’s executive director, will liaise with the trade association’s board headed by president Sharon Perrin.

An attorney, Ms King has held executive roles with the American Veterinary Distributors Association (AVDA) and Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART).

Heather Lester has become AETA’s director of meetings and member services.

Also on the new team are association coordinator Casey Joseph and financial director Debbie Dacre.

UK directory brings a global connection


5th April, 2018.

The Trade Suppliers Directory (TSD) is the perfect way to keep American retailers in touch with suppliers from around the world, including the UK, US and Canada. Owned and published by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Group, this fantastic directory is hot off the press and raring to go with its revised and updated 2018 edition.

Packed with more than 2,000 entries and divided into 250 handy categories, the TSD is a highly accessible hotline to the people behind the brands and products. It has led the way for more than 30 years as the ultimate reference guide for the equestrian, pet, country and outdoor sectors – and is ideal for keeping behind the counter or on your desk as an office-based resource.

Companies in the US can buy their copy for only £22.50 by ordering here or contacting Jennifer Dalton in the EMC office, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email

US companies reap rewards at BETA International

5th April, 2018.

BETA International continues to forge strong links with the American equestrian industry as companies and retailers from the United States take their place at this unmissable global business and buying event.

Favourable exchange rates, the opportunity to develop export potential and the UK's tempting £4.3 billion equestrian market have led to an increase in American interest. Back in January, BETA International welcomed some of the United States's leading equestrian companies to its 2018 show and some of them have already booked their place for next year.

We pitched a set of questions to three of them – Absorbine, Life Data Labs and Majyk Equipe – to find out just what they thought about their BETA International experience this year and why they had taken the decision to exhibit in 2019.

Q: Why did you choose to exhibit at BETA International 2018?


Laurie Klafeta, Absorbine: We have exhibited for several years as part of our support programme for global distribution. The show provides an excellent opportunity for us to meet with our UK and European distributors in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. It also allows us to showcase our entire range of products to both distributors and retailers, and gain valuable feedback.

Karen Zetsche, Life Data Labs: We have been an exhibitor at BETA International for 14 years. Our Farrier´s Formula product has been present in the UK market for 28 years. We chose to exhibit again in 2018 because this event enables us to see our very important existing customers in the UK and meet and connect with prospective customers. Our attendance also enabled us to increase our market not only in the UK, but globally.

Beverly Pollington Sirjami, Majyk Equipe: We wanted to expand sales across the UK and Europe. Majyk Equipe opened its European headquarters in Ireland last year, so we are now able to provide an “at once” inventory and better manage European sales.

Q: What new products did you launch at the show?


Laurie Klafeta, Absorbine: Our UltraShield Fly Mask, which has been completely redesigned, incorporating technical fabrics to keep horses cool while protecting them from insects and UV rays. We also introduced new CoolDown After-Workout Rinse – it has a fabulous scent and really helps horses to relax as they cool down.

Karen Zetsche, Life Data Labs: Life Data Hoof Clay, which helps to protect the horse´s hooves when it is standing in wet environments. Being “on the spot” enables us to be able to explain, show and provide customers with samples of the new product.

Beverly Pollington Sirjami, Majyk Equipe: Our new Ergonomics line of saddle paths and girths to complement our protective horse boots range. As a team of riders, we research and test all our products before we launch them. Our pads and girths were almost 18 months in development.

Q: What were your expectations and were they met or even exceeded?

Absorbine, Laurie Klafeta: Everyone was enthusiastic about our new introductions, so we have high hopes of them doing well this summer and we had very encouraging meetings with our distributors. The proof is in the follow-up business, but we were very satisfied with this year’s show.

Karen Zetsche, Life Data Labs: This is an important event that we feel contributes to the successful marketing of our products and keeps us up to date with new trends and developments in the equine industry.


Beverly Pollington Sirjami, Majyk Equipe: We were pleased to be able to make plenty of sales presentations and lots of retailers stopped by.

Q: How did you find the whole BETA International experience?

Absorbine, Laurie Klafeta: The trade fair is always a great opportunity to catch up and, as many of our contacts have become friends over the years, BETA International is very social and has a great atmosphere. The booking process is straightforward and the organising team are always helpful and friendly.

Karen Zetsche, Life Data Labs: BETA International has been organised for many years by the same competent and friendly staff, which, of course, makes the whole event more enjoyable.

Beverly Pollington Sirjami, Majyk Equipe: The organisation was extremely good. Everyone was very helpful and the BETA International staff were excellent.

Q: Why have you booked to appear at the 2019 show?

Laurie Klafeta, Absorbine: BETA International is an important annual event for the Absorbine international team and we would not miss it for the world! We always look forward to catching up with friends and associates in the industry and exchanging news from both sides of the pond!

Karen Zetsche, Life Data Labs: This is an event that we cannot miss.

Beverly Pollington Sirjami, Majyk Equipe: We’d love to get some recognition in the new product arenas and let UK and European retailers learn more about one of the fastest-growing horse protection brands in the US!

BETA International 2019 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, UK, from 20 to 22 January. For information about exhibiting, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email



1st March, 2018.

Exhibitors reflect on the first of two 2018 AETA trade shows.

The January 2018 edition of AETA took place at the Greater Philadelphia Expo in Pennsylvania.

Many brands used the biannual show to showcase their autumn/winter 2018 collections; while retail buyers used the opportunity to meet, network and place orders for the coming season.

The winner of the Best Small Booth award was B//Vertigo. The accolade for the Best Large Booth went to Nunn Finer.

Quality rather than quantity of visitors was what struck Peter Phillips of British exhibitor Abbey England.

“AETA has always been a good show for us but it seemed quieter than usual,” he said. “However, there were serious customers who were buying and we came away with a good order book. We also made a couple of good new contacts and that’s really what it’s all about.”

Weatherbeeta increased its booth space, enabling it to showcase new products from its WeatherBeeta, Dublin, Collegiate and Kincade brands.

“For both new and returning customers, there was a positive reaction to the ranges,” said Jessica Manson, Weatherbeeta’s US sales director.

On the Sunday, Weatherbeta hosted a media event. Equestrian publications were invited to see the latest products and meet the sales team. Food and refreshments were available too.

More stores need to support AETA, according to Marcus Cridland of Shires Equestrian. And he wasn’t the only one reflecting that view now that the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA) owns and runs the trade fair.

“The show suffered from the usual lack of support from retailers which is disappointing, especially when you consider the effort and expense that exhibitors invest,” he said.

“On the upside, those retailers who did attend seemed happy to order and overall the show ended quite well for us. There seemed to be mixed thoughts from exhibitors, but a decent number said they had a good show as well.”

Marcus confirmed that Shires Equestrian will be attending the August AETA.

• The next AETA is on 11-13 August at the Greater Philadelphia Expo.



1st March, 2018.

Fresh from AETA January, exhibitor and wholesaler John Nunn of Nunn Finer Products ponders the future of trade shows.

Wow, what’s one to say about AETA January show held at The Oaks, Pennsylvania the week following BETA International?

For those of us who remember the early 90s, when vendors then would say “it’s not the show it used to be”, it’s clearly not the show it was even in the 90s and throughout the 2000s!

The only blessing now is that, as an exhibitor, you’re not taking up your time with retailers who are not really true retailers and so you can’t get to the important retailers who are standing waiting for you to get done talking to someone that isn’t going to buy anyway.

What we do find is that the aisles are three-quarters empty - but the retailers that are there are actually buying. Maybe a bit more conservatively than previously, but they are writing orders and seem to be rewarding the wholesalers that are bringing new products to the table.

The word is that about 275 stores attended AETA January. I really don’t know how that sizes up to other years, but it seems pretty close.

At the show, it’s fun to hear various views on counteracting the changing environment we’re all facing.

There are more in-store ‘trunk’ shows – to which local trainers are invited to see what’s new - some nights having three or four different manufacturers’ reps coming in to show off the new stuff. Then there’s the retailer starting up a small mobile store and heading out to the local shows. It all goes to prove that you have to go out and get business even more than ever before.

Back at AETA, wholesalers generally reduced their booth spaces in order to cut costs; I doubt it really hurt them. My company kept the same size, which I think is the right thing to do currently. However, I can’t say that I overdid it to begin with; I’ve always been a bit frugal with the space!

I could probably name off the top of my head eight wholesalers that didn’t show up at all. They may have decided to show only once a year. Remember, we have a spring and a fall show, so both shows don’t work for everyone.

The issue with trade shows nowadays is that we, as wholesalers, give the stores no real reason to go, especially in harder times. We all produce full color catalogues, beautiful websites and have sales reps traveling in and out of their doors several times per year.

There has to be some sort of a dollar saving, and in a lot of cases there is. Besides that, AETA has done a super job, even giving out tickets that offset your hotel expenses and providing free dinner for everyone.

Having a trade show in a wintery environment doesn’t help. But the facility is contracted and, until the contract expires, AETA can’t head off to that warm, tropical winter show that might or might not help it. It’s hard to say.

So do I have the answer? Heck no… I only wish I had that crystal ball that was going to tell us the future of trade shows. Fall 2018 AETA here we come!



1st March, 2018.

American companies planning to exhibit at BETA International 2019 are being urged to book by 2 March to secure significant savings.

“Companies will need to act fast to beat the deadline, which is now only a day away,” said BETA International sales manager James Palmer. “Those that do can take part in our popular early-commitment scheme, which, when combined with our prompt-payment plan, can deliver savings of 7.5% net on the cost of stand space.” *

To qualify, companies must book space by 2 March, pay a deposit by 21 September and the balance in full by 9 November. All discounts are made in the form of a rebate payment during March 2019.

“The show offers American businesses the perfect opportunity to reach out to new audiences and develop their export potential,” added James.

BETA International is the world's leading trade fair for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. The 2019 show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 20 to 22 January.

For further information on exhibiting, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111, email or visit

* T&Cs apply



1st March, 2018.

The brand is creating a collection to empower Canadian competitors across eight horse sports ahead of this summer’s World Equestrian Games.

Noel Asmar Equestrian is continuing its partnership with Equestrian Canada (EC) as the Official Apparel of the Canadian Equestrian Team (CET) for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG).

“WEG is an amazing opportunity to work with riders in a wide range of disciplines, each with their own unique story and inspiring journey,” said Noel Asmar, president and CEO of Asmar Equestrian.

“We’re excited and truly proud to be designing styles that will empower the team and create a national unity across the disciplines.”

As the Official Apparel of the CET, Asmar Equestrian will dress team athletes, grooms and support personnel as they represent Canada in the eight FEI disciplines of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, jumping, para-dressage, reining and vaulting.

WEG 2018 is on 11-23 September, 2018 at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, NC.

EC president Meg Krueger said she was “thrilled to continue this exciting partnership. The quality and reputation of Asmar Equestrian is internationally renowned, and has put Canada on the map as a top producer of equestrian and lifestyle apparel.

“We look forward to continuing to provide our athletes with a cohesive look that fosters the ‘one team’ philosophy across all disciplines, and elevates CET brand recognition.”



1st March, 2018.

British made saddlery is among the best in the world. But why does this traditional industry still revolve around a town in the heart of England?

Walsall is world famous when it comes to saddlery manufacturing.

In the workshops scattered around the town, the latest generation of leather workers uses skills that can be traced back to the 16th century.

Tanneries were sited along the major tributaries of the River Fleam, which flows through the English Midlands, in the early 1500s. But it was not until the 18th century that Walsall began to take shape as a center for the leather trade.

By 1813, there were six bridle-cutting firms operating in Walsall as well as seven curriers who dye and color the leather ready for manufacturing.

By the end of the 19th century, lorinery - the manufacture of the metal components of equestrian equipment - ranked alongside Walsall’s other major industries.

So why did Walsall become a hub for the leather trade? The answer lies in the town’s geography… All the raw materials needed to produce leather were close by.

Hides were easily obtainable due to the abundance of cattle grazed on the lush pastures of local counties South Staffordshire and North Warwickshire. The lime needed to remove the hair from the hides was excavated from the lime pits of nearby Rushall. And oak bark, a tanning agent, was available from the adjacent Cannock Chase or Forest of Arden.

Although the saddlery products have evolved over the centuries, the history of the Walsall leather industry is one of continuity rather than change. The town’s concentration of skilled leather workers has ensured the town’s reputation for high quality leather goods. Pride in British craftsmanship is a recurring theme.

Frank Baines, a 70 year old Master Saddler and Fellow of the Society of Master Saddlers, has spent a lifetime in Walsall.

“Like so many of the people here, I became interested in the industry due to family connections,” he says. “My grandfather talked me into following his footsteps and I never looked back. The time, effort and skill that the craftspeople of Walsall put into making a saddle really does need to be recognised – it is second to none.”

After some 55 years in the trade, Frank handed over his business to his son Garry and daughter Victoria. And he sees a bright future for others coming into the British saddlery industry.

“There are plenty of opportunities today for people wanting to enter the trade. Once qualifications are gained and apprenticeships complete, it is still very much possible today to set up a business to be proud of,” he says.

“The quality of British made saddles, bridles and other leather goods remains at the forefront of everyone involved in the sector.”

• With thanks to information supplied by The Society of Master Saddlers. To find out more visit



29th January, 2018.

A renowned horsewomen proves she knows a thing or two about fitting riding helmets.

Lisa Goretta of Ohio based Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supply has been named Charles Owen Helmet Fitter of the Month.

Lisa has been in equestrian retail for three decades and has had horses – starting in the hunter ring and then transitioning to dressage – for almost 50 years.

She is also a USEF Dressage Technical Delegate and was a steward at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

At Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supply, Lisa ensures that all of the store’s employees are fully qualified in proper helmet fitting.

She also works with local riding clubs and helps educate ride leaders on correct helmet fit.


29th January, 2018.


American farriers are working with fellow professionals from the UK under a new initiative.

The group of professional farriers has been networking with experts from the UK’s Royal Veterinary College (RVC) as they embark upon a new course.

The Graduate Diploma in Equine Locomotor Research (Grad Dip ELR) is tailored to the US-based farrier.

Residential weekends are held at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center.

The RVC Grad Dip ELR is already established in the UK. “It’s been launched in America to offer US-based professional farriers the chance to gain the necessary skillset to produce original research, increase the evidence-base behind farriery, and enhance equine welfare,” said spokesman for the RVC.

The course can be taken over a minimum of two and a maximum of five years. It’s delivered using a variety of methods including webinars, podcasts and face-to-face learning sessions.

The course is led by Professor in comparative imaging and biomechanics Renate Weller and senior lecturer in bioengineering Dr Thilo Pfau.

Professor Weller, development coach Dr Davis, and RVC tutor Dr Veronica Brewster visited the US last week to deliver the first module to 14 farriers over a weekend.

Attendees included Stephen Teichman, a farrier who travels the breadth of America in his work, and Daisy Bicking, who runs her own farriery business alongside teaching. Former serviceman Jim Laclaire was set to retire as a farrier before deciding to apply for the RVC course.

Commenting on the weekend, Jim said: “This weekend for me was incredible! Once I overcame the fear of the unknown I realised we all had one common goal. That was a magnificent feeling.

“The team from the UK was incredible. It was the pleasure of my life to meet everyone. What a fantastic group of professionals with one common goal. I think the industry will benefit greatly by allowing us to take this to the next level.”

Fellow student Tim Shannon added: “I found that we all have diverse backgrounds and skillsets and we are all united by this passion about learning and making our industry better.”

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK's largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a constituent College of the University of London.


29th January, 2018.

Significant savings are on offer to companies planning to exhibit at BETA International 2019. But don’t delay…

BETA International organisers have a discount plan for exhibitors who book early for next year’s show.

But companies need to act soon. The booking deadline is 2 March to take advantage.

Exhibitors can save themselves a total of 7.5% net on the cost of their stand space by using the combined early commitment and prompt payment schemes. (Terms and conditions apply.)

In order to qualify:
• Space must be booked by 2 March
• Deposits must be paid by 21 September, and
• Full payment made by 9 November.

Eligible exhibitors will receive their discounts in the form of a rebate payment made during March 2019.

BETA International 2019 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, on Sunday to Tuesday, 20 - 22 January.

To find out more about exhibiting, contact James Palmer, tel +44 (0)1937 582111, email or visit

BETA International 2018 – a big hit with the trade

28th January, 2018.


BETA International 2018 certainly lived up to its reputation as the unmissable trade buying event for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products as it welcomed 4,044 visitors* and almost 300 exhibitors from across the UK and overseas to the NEC, Birmingham from 21 to 23 January.

This world-class industry event flagged up some of the finest products and services on the market, with many unveiled for the very first time. Everyone from buyers at small independent stores to purchasing teams at multinational retail chains visited the show over the three days, taking their place among friends and colleagues for this annual trade gathering with its golden networking opportunities.

ITV newscaster Alastair Stewart was back by popular demand to host Talking Business, BETA International's red-hot industry debate in The Charles Owen Hub on Sunday 21 January. Members of this year's discussion panel were NEC Conventions and Exhibitions MD Kathryn James, political commentator John Arnold, Charles Owen/Airowear chairman Roy Burek, Pony Club chief executive Rhian Gibson and Bransby Horses chief executive Jo Snell.

The debate looked at Brexit as a friend or foe, whether flash sales were a knee-jerk reaction with short-term gain but disastrous long-term consequences and the role of trade shows as part of the retail supply chain in the 21st century.

The Charles Owen Hub remained a hive activity throughout the show, with a full programme of seminars taking place on each of the days, including Training Tuesday, which was dedicated to retailer education and learning.

Each session was retailer-specific, covering subjects such as visual merchandising, the Consumer Rights Act 2015, customer sales and saddle fitting. James Wishart's SQP seminar Redworms with Green Genes carried 10 CPD points and Claire Williams's seminar Update on Safety Standards and Rules provided 5 CPD points for BETA-trained City & Guilds safety garment fitters.

Visitors were delighted to meet the show's celebrity guests, Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen, eventing hero William Fox-Pitt and Paralympic dressage rider Sophie Christiansen. In an illustrated interview, Amanda spoke of her life at Ravenseat – a remote hill farm in North Yorkshire. The mother of nine works there alongside her husband, Clive, as a shepherd, caring for her beloved flock of Swaledale sheep. In addition to her television appearances and writing – she has already had two books published and has her own column in a national newspaper and magazine – Amanda is a keen photographer and brought along some fantastic examples of her work.

William discussed the highs and lows of his career as a top event rider, the horses that have meant the world to him and his road to recovery following a cross-country fall at Le Lion d'Angers in 2015 and subsequent selection for the Rio Olympics. Meanwhile, Sophie Christiansen spoke of her hopes for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo in an interview peppered with amusing anecdotes.

Fashion remained a powerful theme throughout BETA International, with the Equithème Fashion Show highlighting some of the sassiest forthcoming autumn/winter collections to date. Buyers took their seats at the edge of the catwalk as rider wear and country clothing was put under the spotlight and models danced to some seriously foot-tapping tunes as they showed off garments from sponsor Equithème, Montar, Toggi, Tredstep Ireland, Covalliero, Derriere Equestrian, Horseware Products, Champion and Baleno.

The spirit of competition is keenly felt at BETA International and this year's prestigious Innovation Awards were highly prized, as usual. Sponsored by Equestrian Trade News, the show's official media partner, they attracted a large number of entries across each of the eight categories.

A carefully selected panel of judges had the difficult task of deciding on the winning products. This year, they were independent equine nutritionist Clare MacLeod, retail manager Wendy Beal, of R&R Country's Melton Mowbray store, Wendy Hofstee, owner of riding holiday company Unicorn Trails, show rider and producer Oliver Hood, master saddler and harness maker – and owner of M Miller Saddlery – Michelle Miller and Blacks Vets Tracey Morley Jewkes.

Winners were presented with their awards by ETN editor Liz Benwell and advertising sales executive Beth Crow. They were: Extremities with the Antares beanie (Country Clothing & Footwear), MS & TJ Haylage with Pure hay (Feed & Supplements), Horseware Products with the Horsepal 1.01 horse monitor (General) and long Micklem girth (Saddlery & Tack), Treehouse with the AeroChill cooling rug (Horsecare Equipment & [Horse] Clothing), OSS Distribution with the Sticky Trap (Pet Products), Baleno with the Waterfield riding jacket (Rider Clothing & Footwear) and Inivo Studs with Rescuestuds (Safety & Security).

BETA International is renowned for its top-class exhibition stands and all the hard work it takes to create polished and professional retail environments is recognised and rewarded with the show's Best Stand Awards. Each exhibitor is automatically entered into the competition, which was independently judged by visual merchandising expert Kirsty Kean, of Visual Thinking, and Claire Hogarth, of Bransby Horses, the show's chosen charity for 2018. After touring the halls, they selected Musto as winner of the Best Large Stand Award (32 sq m and over) and WildWash for the Best Small Stand Award (under 32 sq m).

Pet n Pony, of Durham, won the Neue Schule Social Media Award, which is designed to reward the company's stockists for excellence in social media practice.

The Society of Master Saddlers showcased the high standard of British saddlery with daily competitions for apprentices and students from Capel Manor College. Sunday's challenge to make a cob-size pair of cheeks with hook studs was won by Lucy Ellis, of Andy Wheals the Saddleman, with second-year Capel Manor College student Megan Webb securing a win on Monday for her raised brow band and Tuesday's competition to make an Irish martingale – a project revealed only on the day – was claimed by first-year Capel Manor College student Tara Griffin.

Winners of the show's awards were announced and presented with their prizes during a special ceremony on the Fashion Show stage where visitors and exhibitor gathered to congratulate them. This was followed by after-show drinks, with everyone enjoying canapés and glasses of bubbly and soft drinks as they networked and enjoyed chatting to industry colleagues and friends.

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas was extremely pleased with the trade's response to to the show. “We have received some great feedback from exhibitors and visitors who have enjoyed a highly successful three days,” she said. “Everyone pulled out all the stops to make 2018 a fantastic and really memorable show with some amazing stands, fabulous products and plenty of quality buyers.

“We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who supported the show and to our sponsors – Neue Schule, Charles Owen, Equithème, Equestrian Trade News, Henson Franklyn, Hy, NAF, Schockemöhle Sports, Shires Equestrian Products, Stubbs England and Toggi – who really make this all possible.”

BETA International 2019 will take place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 20 to 22 January. For information about exhibiting at the trade fair, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email * Visitor figures awaiting ABC audit

Contact: Deborah Hayward, BETA International Press Officer
Telephone: 01765 635314/01937 582111
Mobile: 07812 374264

Celebrating the best at BETA International 2018

21st January, 2018.


The brightest and very best new products were celebrated in the Innovation Awards – leading industry accolades – during BETA International 2018, at the NEC, Birmingham, on Sunday 21 January.

Sponsored by Equestrian Trade News magazine – the show's official media partner – the awards seek to raise the profile of craftsmanship, design, technology and invention. Every exhibitor is invited to enter products in the competition, provided they have not appeared on the market more than 12 months before the show.

All entries across the awards’ eight categories were considered by an independent judging panel made up of industry experts – independent equine nutritionist Clare MacLeod, managing director of Blacks Vets Tracey Morley Jewkes, retail manager of R&R Country's Melton Mowbray store Wendy Beal, showing rider and producer Oliver Hood, master saddler and harness maker Michelle Miller, who also owns M Miller Saddlery, and Unicorn Trails riding holiday company founder Wendy Hofstee.

“The standard of entries continues to grow year on year, which is incredibly encouraging and a fantastic endorsement of the industry, which is putting considerable sums of money into designing and developing genuinely new and innovative products and services,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “It was terribly exciting to see just who had won an award and we send our congratulations and best wishes to them all.”

The winners of the 2018 Innovation Awards are...

Company: Extremities
Product: Antares beanie
This fashionable-by-day beanie shows its real worth as daylight fades. The X Glo yarn in the design is 360° reflective when a light is shone on it in the dark.
Judges’ comments: “We think consumers will pay a premium for this good-quality product that is more stylish than traditional fluorescent headwear. Nice details include the fleece inner band.”

Company: MS and TS Haylage
Product: Pure hay
This compressed rye grass hay maintains nutritional quality with good protein, energy and fibre for horses not best suited to haylage, in a market that offers very little bagged rye grass hay.
Judges’ comments: “The company has spotted a gap in the market and will increase demand for rye grass hay. It is ‘clean’ hay with good, strong packaging.”

Highly commended
Company: Paskacheval
Product: Easy’Contact
This liquid product enhances the relaxation of the horse’s mouth when training or competing and improves the dialogue between the rider’s hand and horse’s mouth to obtain an elastic connection. It is particularly recommended for equines with a stiff mouth.
Judges’ comments: “Easy’Contact is a good-quality, non-messy product that is easy to apply, safe to use, looks good and should have wide market appeal.”

Company: Horseware Products
Product: Horsepal 1.01 horse monitor
This small monitor provides actual temperature and humidity data, and takes the guesswork out of choosing the correct blanket weight on any given day.
Judges’ comments: “We loved this product, which will have mass-market appeal and give equine owners peace of mind in knowing that their horse is warm enough.”

Highly commended
Company: Estride
Product: Estride
This multi-functional fitness tracker measures training time, stride count, gait pattern, session regularity, horse stability, calorie burn and other data needed to improve riding and ensure a horse’s good health.
Judges’ comments: “Estride is a fantastically innovative product that brings benefits to both horse and rider, with a more accurate understanding of movement and potentially improved performance through better understanding.”

Company: Treehouse
Product: AeroChill cooling rug
The rug is designed to aid in cooling a horse, alleviating heat exhaustion and helping muscle recovery. It is made of a super-absorbent polymer fibre fabric that pulls heat from the horse and improves blood circulation.
Judges’ comments: “The science behind this product is admirable. It is very good quality, realistically priced, useful in all disciplines and comes in fantastic packaging.”

Highly Commended
Company: Horseware Products
Product: Amigo Hero ACY Plus with air-conditioned yarn
This 900-denier fabric is air-blown, resulting in a tighter weave using less yarn and offering an incredibly durable, breathable and lightweight product.
Judges’ comments: “This is a great advancement in fabric technology, increasing horse comfort and satisfying consumer needs.”

Company: OSS Distribution
Product: Sticky Trap
This is a cheap, effective and eco-friendly glue that can be used as a fly trap to protect pets from small insects that can be irritating or harmful to them.
Judges’ comments: “The Sticky Trap has excellent commercial potential for retailers and boasts good labelling and packaging.”

Company: Baleno
Product: Waterfield riding jacket
A jacket with Flexothene fabric, which is robust and practical, the Waterfield is waterproof, has back vents for saddle access and plenty of pockets to keep items dry.
Judges’ comments: “At last we have a riding jacket that is truly waterproof, stretchy and vented, as well as being stylish and flattering, at a great price, with mass-market appeal.”

Highly commended
Company: Horseware Products
HW Air Mk 2 jacket
This competition jacket evolved from 3D mesh construction to single-layered, lightweight, cool-touch woven fabric with four-way stretch. The product is breathable and allows the rider good movement.
Judges’ comments: “The jacket didn’t jump out at us on the hanger, but it certainly had the wow factor when we tried it on. It is the lightest, super-stretchy and most comfortable competition jacket we have seen and we could barely feel we were wearing it.”

Company: Horseware Products
Product: Long Micklem girth
Horseware has created a girth that is ergonomically shaped for minimum slippage and maximum elbow comfort, developed following research on saddled horses put through various paces to establish saddle movement and its effect on pressure points on the horse’s elbow.
Judges’ comments: “We have never seen anything like this before. It is a very interesting idea using the Martingale groove and offered at a great price point in the market.”

Highly commended
Horsekraft Equestrian
Product: Pic-ha pad
This harness is a pad with an interchangeable gullet that fits underneath a driving or long reining pad to create a perfect fit.
Judges’ comments: “Horsekraft has come up with a very innovative product that is easy to use and adjust, boasting great quality and craftsmanship.”

Company: Rescuestuds
Product: Rescuestuds
The rescue remedy for loose stud holes, Rescuestuds fixes the problem when a stud won’t tighten, avoiding the cost of replacing a shoe.
Judges’ comments: “What a great product idea, really nicely packaged! It offers a solution to a problem and everyone will use it in an emergency. Passion comes through in the innovation.”

Highly commended
Company: Vale Brothers
Product: Gizahand LED whip
This whip with LED light is highly visible to road users and charged using a USB port providing constant light for 10 hours, flash mode for 14 and flashlight for 20.
Judges’ comments: “A simple but clever idea that fulfils safety criteria and offers a great margin to retailers. It could be expanded to different types of whip.”

BETA International is the leading trade fair for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. The 2018 show is taking place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 21 to 23 January.

Contact: Deborah Hayward, BETA International Press Officer
Telephone: 01765 635314/01937 582111
Mobile: 07812 374264

US retailers invited to register for free pass


With only weeks to go until BETA International 2018, retailers in the US are being encouraged to pre-register for a free visitor pass to the show. Securing attendance will allow them to join industry counterparts from across the globe and put them first in line for some of the world's finest, most innovative and inspirational new products.

BETA International takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 21 to 23 January and features almost 300 exhibitors from the UK and overseas, placing European brands and products in easy reach of American retailers seeking new stock for their customers.

“A favourable exchange rate between the pound and dollar, and exclusive show offers make visiting a really attractive option, as our US visitors will have much greater buying power and the opportunity to build relationships with some prestigious, long-established British and European companies,” said BETA International sales manager James Palmer.

newscaster Hundreds of new products will be highlighted throughout the show, on stands and in the Shires New Product Gallery, and the latest, most exciting country and equestrian clothing will be put through its paces in the Equi Thème Fashion Show.

Competition is also big business at BETA International, with visitors taking their seats to hear the winners of the Innovation Awards – leading industry accolades designed to reward and celebrate excellence – as they are announced.

“Travelling to the show has never been easier – or more cost-effective for retailers paying us a visit,” added James. “There are regular flights from John F Kennedy International Airport to Birmingham International Airport, for example, and a fantastic choice of hotels on the NEC complex – all at really competitive prices.”
This year, organisers are hosting free after-show drinks and canapés on Sunday 21 January from 6 to 8pm and would be delighted if their American visitors could join them.

Pre-registration for a free visitor pass and contact details for BETA International's dedicated accommodation booking service can be found at



A British saddle brand owner is making the gesture to American saddle fitters visiting BETA International.

Vale Brothers is offering to pay for one night’s accommodation for US and other non-UK saddle fitters who visit next month’s BETA International.

Based in Walsall, UK, Vale Brothers owns the Harry Dabbs and Jeffries saddle brands. A Harry Dabbs Platinum Mariella Dressage saddle is pictured.

While calling at Vale Brothers’ stand (M4.1) during BETA International, saddle fitters can also pick up a free Flexi-curve plus a free gift (while stocks last). This booth is right next to the champagne bar!

To find out more contact

These top British brands will be among a strong showing of saddlery and leatherwork at BETA International 2018 on 21 – 23 January.

A saddle fitting seminar, conducted by master saddler and fitting guru Kay Hastilow during the show at the NEC, Birmingham, is open to all visitors.

Attending BETA International is free on pre-registration at



As American and Britain unite to celebrate the engagement of HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, polo themed products could be in high demand next year. Here’s why…

It’s long been known as the sport of princes. And, indeed, a high goal polo match in Ascot, England was the setting for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first public appearance together.

Prince Harry is a keen and highly accomplished polo player. Meghan has so far confined her participation to cheering him on from the side-lines.

However, the British press was reporting earlier this summer that the Suits star had been offered polo lessons by Prince Harry’s friend and former England international Malcolm Borthwick.

The happy couple’s wedding is planned for next Spring, with a date in May looking most likely. Meanwhile expect plenty of polo related pictures to pop up in pre-wedding media coverage - promoting gear themed with the sport and surrounding lifestyle.

At BETA International 2018, retailers can find everything from the technical equipment required, such as sticks and pads, to polo themed leisure goods and clothing.

Accessories such as the distinctive multi-coloured polo belts are a must-have stock item for next Spring – especially for retailers wishing to celebrate a royal romance.

Pictured is an example from new BETA International exhibitor, Walsall wholesaler Saddlery Trade Services (STS).



A well-known British wholesaler is to present informative talks on its stand at BETA International 2018.

Abbey England is to host two Ask the Experts talks on leather and saddlery on its stand during BETA International next month (21 – 23 January).

The company - an advocate of traditional British manufacturing - supplies tools, leather and materials to the saddle-making industry.

Speakers include Mike Dodd, sales director at technical leathers manufacturer Pittards.

For his presentation on Leather and Its Uses on Sunday at 10.30am and Monday at 3pm, Mike will be joined by Richard Farrow. Richard is the former managing director of Sedgwick & Co, producer of British hand-finished leather and now part of the Clayton Leather Group.

A second talk - Saddlery Training and the State of UK Production – A Bright View of the Future will be presented by Mark Romain of The Saddlery Training Centre and Patrick Byrne of The Worshipful Company of Saddlers. Timings are Sunday at 3pm and Monday at 10.30am.

Each presentation will include a question and answer session.

“Traditional manufacturing is at the heart of the Abbey England business and securing the future of these techniques and practices is vital,” said a company spokesman.



Network or relax; the choice is yours as BETA International organisers lay on after-hours drinks and nibbles for everyone.

Exhibitors and visitors are invited to join the BETA International organising team, friends and colleagues for free after-show drinks on Sunday 21 January from 6 to 8pm.

Glasses of bubbly, soft drinks and canapés will be served at the Fashion Show stage.

“This is the first time we have held this event, which promises plenty of valuable networking and the opportunity to toast the successful first day of business,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas.

“There is no need to book beforehand – simply come along on the day and take your place at this informal, friendly gathering over a drink and nibbles.”

The BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) Business Awards and Gala Dinner, which traditionally happened on the evening of the first day of BETA International, is on Monday 22nd January, 2018.



Equestrian non-profits invited to attend free launch at trade show.

The American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA) announced today that it will launch the new AETA Gives program at the upcoming AETA International Trade Show to be held January 27 – 29, 2018 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA.

AETA Gives is a new initiative of the association to connect individuals and businesses with equestrian causes, issues, people and organizations that are important to the industry. AETA’s first goal with the launch of AETA Gives is to raise awareness of the important work that non-profits are doing in the equine industry; and to connect them with those who are dealing in equestrian trade.

“AETA’s long-time mission has been Uniting Equestrian Trade,” explains AETA Board of Directors President Kelly Herd. “AETA Gives is another way that we can foster building networks within the industry to grow the industry.”

The association will launch AETA Gives on Saturday, January 27 at 6 p.m. at a networking reception immediately following the first day of its January 2018 Trade Show. The reception will feature an expo of non-profit organizations that are making a difference in the equine industry. “Retailers and manufacturers can mix and mingle with each other and representatives from non-profit equestrian organizations,” said Herd. There will be complimentary food and a cash bar at the kick-off event.

“The great thing about AETA Gives is that it will broaden our collective network,” said Herd, who pointed out that charitable giving can be an important part of any good marketing plan. “Whether it is a local horse therapy group or a national initiative, supporting an equestrian non-profit is a way to connect with your business with the industry.” Herd noted that support is whatever makes sense for an individual business, and can range from helping raise awareness to educating supporters, inspiring advocacy and financial support. “We want to help connect people with equestrian initiatives that they care most about.”

Equestrian non-profit organizations can participate for free at the January 27 AETA Gives reception. Contact AETA Events Director Lori Zelesko at 717-724-0204 or for more information. Information about the AETA International Trade Show can be found



Great exchange rates and a huge selection of exclusive show offers can really help US companies to offset the cost of visiting BETA International and allow them to take their place at this global industry gathering.

“The dollar is now worth 14% more against the pound compared with two years ago and this, coupled with financial savings offered by the show's exhibitors to buyers, can really help US visitors to make their money go further,” said BETA International sales manager James Palmer.

“Travel and accommodation from the US to Birmingham has never been easier – or more cost-effective. There are flights from John F Kennedy International Airport to Birmingham International Airport from as little as $457* return and hotels on the NEC complex available from around $136.10.**

As BETA International takes place in three halls at the NEC, it is perfectly placed for easy access from both the airport and Birmingham International Railway Station, which is only a 10-minute walk away.

The NEC complex itself offers a fabulous range of hotels designed to suit the individual needs of travellers, with most establishments in easy walking distance and served by a regular return shuttle bus service to the show.

“Birmingham is one of the UK's most vibrant cities, with an eclectic mix of cultural activities and entertainment right on the doorstep” added James. “There's plenty of opportunity to tag some sightseeing on to a trade fair visit and, with London only one-and-a-half hours away by train, a visit to the capital is well in reach.”

BETA International is the world's leading trade fair for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. The 2018 show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, UK, from 21 to 23 January. For further information, visit or contact Clair Webster, email or telephone +44 (0)1937 582111.

* & ** - both prices correct at time of publication, but these may be subject to fluctuation.



Innovative ranch and garden range available across North America.

Performance footwear specialist Grub’s has a new distribution arrangement with VSI.

The partnership is to offer ranch and garden styles to North American retailers.

A member of the Duravet group, VSI has associates throughout the USA and Canada. The company has a Canadian licence for animal medicine.

Said David Foster of Grub’s: “We are very excited about this new distribution partnership with VSI, a company that is very well respected and has fantastic contacts and arrangements that will really help to promote the range and brand in the USA.”

VSI was incorporated in 1960 by vets Willis D. Woodward and Donald W. Rosenberg, plus Frank G. Sweetman, a former sales representative for Van Waters and Rogers.

They formed VSI to sell poultry related health products. Subsequently, John E. Pugliese, while working for Merck, joined them in 1962.

Today, the company supplies a broad range of products to more than 3,000 retailers in the beef, dairy and poultry sectors as well as feed supply and pet stores.



The Society of Master Saddlers is offering training to saddle retailers and equine professionals.

The Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) is to run an Introductory Saddle Fitting Course in the USA next year.

The course will take place in Hagerstown, Maryland on 13 – 15 April, 2018.

It will cover a series of useful and educational topics, including:

• Saddle construction, tree design and types of leather.
• Identifying faults in saddles.
• Physiology of the horse's back.
• Horse identification and maintaining records.
• Safe handling of the horse.
• Anatomy of the horse.
• The horse in movement.
• Principles of saddle fitting.
• How to present and 'run up' the horse; movement and conformation.
• Practical back assessment.
• Template taking.
• Practical saddle fitting of a variety of horses

The course will be delivered by SMS Saddle Fitting lecturers, veterinarians and qualified instructors. A certificate of attendance will be awarded on completion.

Retailers who are selling saddles manufactured by an SMS trade member, and who have the required three years’ experience in saddle fitting, will be eligible to go forward to the Society of Master Saddlers’ Overseas Retailers Qualified Saddle Fitters Course held in the UK.

“The aim of the course is to make available the basic principles of the SMS recommended saddle fitting system, as adopted by SMS Registered Qualified Saddle Fitters in the UK, to those with an interest in the equine industry,” said an SMS spokesman.

“The course is suitable for those wishing to regulate their fitting procedures, and for those entering the saddle fitting field or for horse professionals wishing to further their education.”

Candidates should have an interest in the equine industry. The course is open to all retail and associated personnel in the saddlery trade, equine professionals, therapists, massage therapists, veterinarians, farriers, trainers, and teachers. Preference will be given to those who own or are employed by a business which is retailing saddles manufactured in the UK.

To book a place contact Annette Gavin at



Helping horses live comfortably into their golden years is the aim of a new supplement

Well Blend Senior is the newest addition to The Missing Link equine supplement line from Absorbine. It’s said to offer total support for aging horses by targeting the nutritional gaps between the diet Mother Nature intended for equines and what’s available in today’s processed feeds.

Rich in omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, the new product is veterinarian-formulated.

The Missing Link uses a proprietary manufacturing and packaging process that ensures the freshly ground flaxseed inside retains maximum nutrients and remains stable without preservatives, says Absorbine.

Ingredients within The Missing Link Well Blend Senior target the specific needs of senior horses.

“Now that horses are living longer than ever, we feel some of the most important product development we do is around helping horses live comfortably into their golden years,” says Jaime McKinley at Absorbine.

“The flaxseed, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins that The Missing Link equine supplements are known for provide great support for aging horses, and the addition of glucosamine, MSM, grape seed extract and ginkgo round out the formula to more completely promote long-term health.

“We have seen very positive results from trials of Well Blend Senior, and feel it will offer horse owners a great option towards overall wellness for their horses later in life.”



Organisers have just announced some of the new names and returning exhibitors for the 2018 trade fair.

Brands to be seen at BETA International will include new names and some not seen at the show for a while.

For the first time in 12 years, Woof Wear is to exhibit. Westgate EFI (home of Mark Todd) and Elico Equestrian are back after a year’s break.

An eclectic mix of new exhibitors includes The Original Muck Boot Co, Walsall wholesaler Saddlery Trade Services and Omega Equine (from feed company Falcon).

Another newcomer is BUSSE Sportartikel with products for horse and rider designed in Germany.

A number of exhibitors who appeared at BETA International earlier this year will return with bigger stands in January 2018.

Musto has increased its stand size by almost 40%. Northants based leather and workshop tools supplier Tandy Leather will have a stand around 75% larger.

Stable hardware specialist A Perry is also set to occupy a much expanded stand at the show.

• To find out more about visiting or exhibiting at BETA International 2018, click onto



A North Carolina based distributor reports a surge in retail orders for socks to complete traditional Scottish outfits.

The tartan kilt – that essential item of Scottish Highland apparel - only works when worn with the right socks.

And sales of kilt socks are on the up across the USA.

Traditional kilt-maker Matt Newsome, of North Carolina based New House Highland, has also noticed a change in how people are styling their Highland dress outfits.

“People are experimenting with colour now and often order some of the more flamboyant styles,” he says.

It’s a trend that’s reflected in their choice of kilt socks, says Matt who acts as a distributor for Scottish manufacturer House of Cheviot.

The company is lining up some “new and exciting” sock designs for 2018.

At its factory in Hawick in Scotland, House of Cheviot makes 58,000 pairs of sock a year, 20% of those being kilt socks. The remainder are for the wider country market.

“Sales of kilt socks are growing year on year and are particularly popular in the USA,” says Ashley Drysdale of House of Cheviot.

House of Cheviot socks are made in Scotland from merino and cashmere yarns. Each pair passes through 12 different skilled pairs of hands.

House of Cheviot will exhibit at BETA International 2018.

New British horse feed brand set to hit the US market


Henry Bell & Co (Grantham) Ltd – a British manufacturer of premium animal feeds – is preparing to introduce its new EQUIGLO brand to the US. Designed to deliver first-class nutrition at great-value-for-money prices, EQUIGLO makes its début with Quick Soak 10 MINUTE BEET.

This 100 per cent natural British superfood made from fibre-rich unmolassed beet flakes – an ideal complementary feed for all horses and ponies.

“This product offers US retailers a fantastic opportunity to stock quality fibre feed at a really good price point,” said Simon Parker, of Henry Bell. “We have been a trusted name in the UK feed sector since 1825 and we are confident that Quick Soak 10 MINUTE BEET will prove a popular feed option, with easy-to-handle, 18kg bags and an attractive price tag.”

The high-fibre, low-sugar and starch feed is a member of the BETA NOPS assurance scheme and made from non-GM, British-grown, unmolassed and micronized sugar beet, which is highly digestible and acts as a natural probiotic in the horse’s gut.

EQUIGLO Quick Soak 10 MINUTE BEET provides a convenient source of non-heating energy for working horses and ponies all year round – and is perfect for those prone to laminitis. It is an ideal replacement for cereal-based feeds and forage, particularly for veterans with poor dentition or when quality is poor.



A new movie with an equestrian theme is set to delight horse lovers of all ages.

Savvy retailers will cash in as My Little Pony: The Movie hits big screens across the globe this month (October).

There’s clearly a market for merchandise celebrating the animated film as well as opportunity for fun in-store displays.

Once the subject of a 1980s television series, the 2017 launch of My Little Pony: The Movie means the endearing characters now appeal to mums and daughters.

Take a moment to enjoy a preview of My Little Pony: The Movie here



Companies wishing to secure a presence at BETA International 2018 are being reminded of the show's Prompt Payment Rebate Scheme, a money saving initiative designed to reduce and spread the cost of exhibiting.

To take part, a 10 per cent deposit must be paid by 22 September with the remaining balance received by 10 November. Companies that meet these deadlines will benefit from a five per cent net rebate (excluding corner stands) next March*.

“Companies that would like to take full advantage of the scheme should set the wheels in motion as soon as possible, as the cut-off point is only two weeks away,” said BETA International stand sales manager James Palmer.

“Stand allocation will begin shortly after and will be dealt with on a first come, first served basis. If we know required dimensions at this point, we can factor them in and ensure that those who meet the deposit deadline, benefit from the very best locations around the show's three large halls.”

BETA International is the world's leading trade exhibition for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. The 2018 show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, UK from 21 to 23 January. To book a stand, register at, or for further information about exhibiting, please contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email



A US Equestrian sponsor has extended its support to encompass equine pest control.

UltraShield fly sprays and masks have been named Official Fly Control Products of The United States Equestrian Federation (US Equestrian).

The new sponsorship expands upon the deal made in 2015, when Absorbine was named the Official Liniment of US Equestrian.

Absorbine celebrates 125 years of caring for horses this year, UltraShield being a big part of that history.

“We are proud that the national governing body of equestrian sport can put their trust in Absorbine products,” said Chris Jacobi, the company’s president.

“In offering this expertise in muscle care as well as fly control, we look forward to working together with US Equestrian in their mission to bring excellence to riders and equine enthusiasts across the country.”

US Equestrian’s CEO Bill Moroney said he was “thrilled” about Absorbine’s extended sponsorship.

“Absorbine has demonstrated a long history of devotion to the health and welfare of horses through the quality of product that they offer, and is exactly the type of company with which US Equestrian is proud to partner,” he said.



An established saddle fitter plans to offer all-round tack consultancy to her local equestrian community.

Lindsey Kahn, a saddle fitter based in St Paul, Minnesota, has won a Loriners’ Award from The Neue Schule Academy.

The Academy is on on-line learning initiative run by the British bits and bitting company.

Lindsey runs Safe and Sound Saddle Fit and is the state’s exclusive representative of County Saddlery.

She took the Neue Schule Academy foundation course on which her high achievement earned her a Loriners’ Award. The course covers a scientific introduction to bits, the way they operate and the impact they have on the horse's mouth.

Congratulating Lindsey and other award winners at a ceremony in London, Dr Caroline Benoist of The Academy said: “I never cease to be impressed by the way our students find time to study a subject that can be quite complicated despite having families, jobs and horses to look after. To see all their hard work recognised in this way is tremendous.”

Lindsey, an MSA (Master Saddlers Association) trained saddle fitter, offers a mobile fitting service to clients around the state of Minnesota by travelling to their farms.

“In addition to fitting new custom County saddles for clients' horses, I spend a great deal of time evaluating the balance and condition of clients' current saddles, adjusting flocking, and working alongside trainers, veterinarians, farriers and body workers to better ensure a long and healthy career for these horses,” she told ETN.

Lindsey became interested in saddle fit having experienced first-hand the effects of unsuitable tack with her own horses.

“The more I work with horses and riders of various disciplines and levels, the more parallels I find between saddle fitting and finding a suitable bit for the individual horse based on its anatomy, training and the bit design itself,” she explained.

Lindsey learned of The Academy via Christy Weflen who owns her local tack store, St. Croix Saddlery. Now the pair have agreed that it would be wonderful for the local equestrian community to have a travelling ‘tack consultant’ to find saddling and bitting solutions.

While studying via the Neue Schule Academy, Lindsey says she found the flexibility of an online course useful to fit around her busy schedule.

“The Foundation course was extremely thorough, from the history of bitting to the basics of force distribution and actions of various bits.

“The math portions of the course were quite challenging as I’m a very visual/hands on student and hadn't taken a math course since freshman year of college!”

Now Lindsey plans to complete The Academy's other courses in order to add bit analysis to the services offered by Safe and Sound Saddle Fit. (Photo: Fox River Photography).



California’s Sonoma Horse Park will be more stylish than ever later this month, thanks to a new partnership just announced.

Noel Asmar Equestrian has become official apparel partner to Sonoma Horse Park (SHP).

During the SHP Season Finale (20 – 24 September), every division champion will be awarded apparel from the equestrian lifestyle brand.

A show highlight will be the $25,000 Noel Asmar Equestrian Grand Prix on the Saturday.

Set in Californian wine country, the Sonoma Horse Park has 17 arenas. The world class facility hosts competitors from across the western USA, Canada and Mexico.

Visitors to the SHP Season Finale are invited to stop by the VIP area for complimentary local wine. They can also enjoy a trunk show during which Noel Asmar Equestrian will present its latest collections.

“We look forward to being a part of the Sonoma Horse Park experience,” says brand founder and CEO Noel Asmar. “We pride ourselves on our shared values and believe in empowering riders and enriching the equestrian experience.”

Sonoma Horse Park’s Ashley Herman remarked on the partnership: “We are thrilled. Noel Asmar Equestrian is renowned for beautifully tailored apparel and shares SHP’s commitment to excellence.”

The brand has also worked with shows at Spruce Meadows and Thunderbird Show Park.



More English exhibitors than ever will join their Western counterparts at a Denver trade show from tomorrow (8 September).

The English contingent continues to grow at the traditionally strongly themed Western WESA show to run in Denver, Colorado this weekend (8 – 10 September).

The bi-annual (January and September) market remains 70% Western compared with 30% English.

However, as WESA executive director Amy Dill told ETN: “We are gaining in English exhibitors and have more this [time] than we’ve ever had at a September market.”

In total, more than 300 exhibitors and 1,100 buyers from 500 stores are expected to participate in the upcoming WESA (Western & English Sales Association) apparel and equipment trade show.

WESA also offers information and education for retailers and exhibitors via seminars and demonstration.



ETN spoke to exhibitors at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center on 12 – 14 August where AETA has a new organizing team in place.

For the first time last month, the August AETA market was run for the trade, by the trade.

For 11 years, the biannual show was put on by Hopper Expositions for its owner, the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA).

But this year’s fixtures [the first was in January] have seen AETA take back control and organize its own fair.

The move has appeared to evoke a spirit of togetherness; a feeling that everyone should pull together.

“AETA’s organisers have made a great effort, and I thank them for that,” said Peter Wilkes of Vale Brothers.

He called on more retailers to back AETA in its efforts – and was by no means the only exhibitor to do so.

“I’d like the US dealers to support the show more. Meanwhile all exhibitors need to look at how they can encourage higher attendance levels.”

Peter added that he has pre-show plans to “liven things up” next year. “We should all take responsibility for the show’s results.”

Asked about visitor numbers, “quiet” was the most often quoted response from exhibitors.

However, the consensus is that AETA remains a reliable route to US retailers. Every exhibitor ETN spoke to said they would return in 2018.

“I would certainly rank the show as successful in helping us to reach the American market,” said Richard Brown of UK based Abbey England. “The order take was good.”

Asked what he’d like to see done differently, Richard remarked: “Trade shows need to stop looking like a clothing show and return to the saddlery core business with saddlers, bridle-makers and general supplies being more apparent.”

He went on to pledge the support of Abbey England – a workshop supplies specialist – to help achieve this.

At Horze Finntack, Rune Stadven said that although AETA was “quiet”, this Scandinavian company had “booked appointments, and therefore we got sales.”

He added: “AETA have to challenge themselves and get more visitors.”

A call for change was voiced by Marcus Cridland at UK based Shires Equestrian too.

“It was 100% better than last August, but footfall was still down,” he told ETN. “We just found that the retailers who visited our stand placed orders.”

AETA has traditionally been a biannual show [held in January and August], something Marcus believes should be reviewed.

“The January show is usually the strongest, and if there was one show per year, it would attract more visitors.

“There are some exhibitors who wouldn’t share my views on this, and their opinions would differ due to seasonal product ranges etc.”



An equestrian trade show due to be held this month has been called off, despite its experienced organisers “trying everything.”

The August 2017 Charlotte International Equestrian Market has been cancelled.

It was due to be held in North Carolina on 5 -7 August – just days before the AETA International Trade Show (12 - 14 August) at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.

The Charlotte markets were run by experienced trade show organiser Kent Hopper’s Hopper Expositions. But following an inaugural event in February, support appeared to fall away.

“We have tried everything that we can think of to make this event a success,” said Kent on announcing the cancellation.

“Our main problem was the fact that the larger exhibiting companies would not commit their support and participation.”

Kent Hopper’s track record of organising English and Western trade shows dates back to 1992 when he joined Stan Stein’s Stanley Expositions.

Having left in 2005 to form Hopper Expositions, Kent began a nine year working relationship with the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA). Notable trade shows included those in the King of Prussia.

This year, Hopper Expositions struck out with its own shows - what have turned out to be the short-lived Charlotte International Equestrian Markets.

Meanwhile the AETA International Trade Show, due to go ahead this month, is now owned and run by the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA)



A company has been firing up new furnace capacity its 180 year old foundry to create brass giftware.

Abbey England has installed a larger capacity furnace at its 180 year old foundry in Walsall, UK.

The move enables the company to introduce British-made brass giftware at the AETA trade show next week (5 – 7 August).

Abbey England – a longstanding champion of British manufacturing – is making gifts in brass for the home and garden. Examples designed to enhance equestrian retailers’ stock include sundials and country style door knockers.

Also on offer hot from the Abbey foundry are bespoke solid brass coasters, which make great wedding favors and corporate gifts.

Expansion of its foundry has also enabled Abbey England to hire three additional craftspeople, taking its workforce to a total of 55.

“We are looking forward to entering new markets and excited about the opportunities which lie ahead,” said managing director Richard Brown.

Abbey England also produces buckles and fittings for the equestrian and fashion trades.


A new partnership is set to foster even stronger connections between a popular brand and the equestrian community.

Kerrits Equestrian Apparel has announced a new partnership with e-commerce holding company Tenth Avenue Commerce (TAC).

Kerrits’ founder and CEO Kerri Kent, the company’s management team and staff remain in place.

“We’re now able to invest more in building deeper relationships with our customers and move forward with several new initiatives,” said Kerri of the new partnership.

TAC invests in leading brands across various industries, bringing its expertise in data-driven digital marketing to each partnership.

“We’re committed to collaborating with a company who strives to produce their goods in the US and has such a deep connection with their customers,” said TAC’s CEO Michael Chapin.

“We look forward to working with the current staff at Kerrits to help the brand grow.”

Founded in 1986, Kerrits is based in the Columbia River Gorge. The company is a member of the Equestrian Land Conservancy, uses ethically produced fabrics and manufactures the majority of its products in the US.

TAC, an affiliate of Tenth Avenue Holdings, is based in New York and Connecticut.

Founded in 2011, TAC owns and operates From You Flowers, Eve’s Addiction, H. Bloom, Brook & York, Send Flowers and Social Media Link.



The co-owner of a saddlery store has been praised for her contribution to rider safety.

Patty Cameron of Gallops Saddlery has been named Charles Owen Helmet Fitter of the Month.

Patty has co-owned the Tigard, Oregon store with Diane Snow for 18 years.

Charles Owen commended Patty’s dedication to ensuring that each of their customers leaves the store with a safe, well-fitted helmet.



The sight of New York police officers riding in a certain style of saddle is boosting retail sales across the USA.

US retailers are benefiting as numerous US Police Departments, including the NYPD, choose to ride in Bates’ traditional Australian stock saddles.

Sales of the Bates Outback have “dramatically increased” since larger seat sizes were introduced in May this year. The new models also have heritage style leather.

“Police Departments are choosing these saddles for the benefit of their horses’ backs and riders’ seats over numerous hours in the saddle,” said Ellen Bates, president of Saddlery Brands International (SBI) – the US distributor of Bates Saddles and Wintec Saddles.

SBI also reports brisk sales of the Wintec 250 All Purpose since an updated, modern looking model was launched in May 2017.

The Bates and Wintec saddle brands will be at AETA on 12 – 14 August.



With an international airport on its doorstep, American companies have easy access to the world’s leading B2B show for the equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet product sectors.

BETA International 2018 (21-23 January) is the annual global buying and business platform located in Birmingham, the heart of the UK. It’s the perfect place to launch your business or increase its profitability.

With around 4,500 ABC-audited visitors – mainly key buyers and decision makers – and approximately 300 exhibitors from the UK and overseas, BETA International offers an unmissable opportunity to source innovative, new products and take part in this ultimate trade gathering held over three busy days, all under one roof.

This is a great time for American companies to get on board and secure a share of the UK's £4.3 billion ($5.5 billion) equestrian market. Exchange rates are extremely favourable and the show continues to be the launch pad for some of the finest and most inspiring new products and brands.

BETA International is also extremely accessible, with Birmingham International Airport literally next door and good-quality hotels – serviced by shuttle buses – on the doorstep, and visiting retailers can apply for free tickets.

“We’re really looking forward to welcoming you on 21 to 23 January,” says James Palmer, BETA International sales manager.



British royal Princes William and Harry love the game – and now polo themed accessories are being snapped up by retailers across the US.

Luxury South American inspired lifestyle brand pampeano has seen sales rocket by 328% following its US debut earlier this year.

Its expertly hand-crafted leather pieces can now be found in 14 cities across the country.

pampeano's pieces can be recognised by Aztec pampa diamond patterns hand-woven on leather using wax-dipped saddlery threads.

First seen on pampeano’s leather polo belts, the theme carries through to its bags, wallets, washbags and keyrings.

Pampa diamonds represent the peaks and troughs of the Andes Mountain range.



Award winning retailer signs off after a career in which she’s helped make riders safer.

Julie Mickler, of Kentucky based Bob Mickler’s, was named Charles Owen Helmet Fitter of the Month, on the eve of her retirement.

Julie is described by the helmet manufacturer as “a true team player when it came to fitting customers with the safest helmets.”

She worked with many local groups, including student jockeys from Keeneland Training Center, to ensure they wear correctly fitted helmets.

The Charles Owen Helmet Fitter of the Month award is a global accolade. It’s awarded monthly to retailers who go the extra mile in pursuit of rider safety and customer satisfaction.

BETA International 2018 sponsors

Equestrian Trade News (ETN) is the world's leading
equestrian, country clothing and pet product trade publication


The British Equestrian Trade Association – recognised as the official representative for the equestrian manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade.

BETA International – the world’s leading trade fair for the equestrian, country clothing and pet product sectors.

British Equestrian Directory – an online directory with more than 10,000 contacts from the world of horse, pet and country.

Equestrian Trade News, East Wing, Stockeld Park, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS22 4AW.
Tel: +44 (0)1937 582111 Fax: +44(0)1937 582778 Email: